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1 ball hitting Parabola

  1. Apr 2, 2009 #1
    1" ball hitting Parabola

    If a 1" ball hits the inside of a parabola, what part of the ball hits the focal point?
    Is it the edge that strikes the inside of the parabola or the center of the ball?
    Thank You
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 2, 2009 #2

    DaveC426913

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    Re: 1" ball hitting Parabola

    What are your thoughts on the matter?
     
  4. Apr 2, 2009 #3
    Re: 1" ball hitting Parabola

    I think it would be the outer edge of the ball.
     
  5. Apr 3, 2009 #4

    Lok

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    Re: 1" ball hitting Parabola

    I modeled the problem using rhino geometry. Attached 1 pic with a ball crossing the focus.
    There is no exact answer.

    If the ball follows the parabola axis it will hit dead center (obvious).
    But in all other situations, the ball might cross the focus or even miss it completely.
    The ball can hit the focus with it's side given certain conditions.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Apr 3, 2009 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Re: 1" ball hitting Parabola

    Cool. But I don't see from your diagram under what circumstances it would miss the focus completely.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2009 #6
    Re: 1" ball hitting Parabola

    Thank You...

    I am attaching an image that represents a 1" ball bearing hitting the inside of a parabola.
    Which line represents the passage through the focal point, center or edge? Is the result always the same no matter where the bearing hits the side?
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Apr 6, 2009 #7

    Lok

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    Re: 1" ball hitting Parabola

    For ball flying parallel to the axis there are only center to side solutions. But for different angles it is not true. The problem did not specify parallelism though.
     
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