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Equation for elliptic cylinder

  1. Feb 9, 2009 #1
    I know that the equation for an elliptic cylinder is

    [tex]\frac{{\left( {x - x_0 } \right)^2 }}{{a^2 }} + \frac{{\left( {y - y_0 } \right)^2 }}{{b^2 }} = 1 [/tex]

    How do I add a constraint on that to make sure that it lies above the plane z = -1? I'm confused about it b/c its equation does not involve z (a degenerate quadric?)
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 10, 2009 #2


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    You just have to specify the z domain for which the equation applies. If you insist on having one equation, define a function of z where f(z)=1 where the cylinder is supposed to exist and f(z)=-1 otherwise. Then in the ellipse equation, replace = 1 by = f(z).
  4. Feb 10, 2009 #3
    Ok, that helps, thank you.
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