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Conic sections

  1. Aug 2, 2010 #1
    Everyone knows by now that a conic section is the figure formed when a plane intersects a right circular cone. Most everyone also knows that there are many different ways to describe a conic, geometrically and algebraically. What one seldom sees is the derivation of those descriptions from the fundamental definition. Using Dandelin Spheres it is easy to accomplish this for an ellipse. What I have never seen is a proof, based on the fundamental definition, of the equivalence of the ratio of the distances of a point on the conic to the focus and to the directrix, or even a definition of the directrix itself. Can anyone supply or direct me to such information? Thanks.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2010 #2

    mathman

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  4. Aug 2, 2010 #3
    I have read that a dozen times. It doesn't explain the directrix derivation - just says it's possible to do so.
     
  5. Aug 3, 2010 #4

    mathman

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  6. Aug 4, 2010 #5
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