Line passing through an Ellipse and a Point

  • Thread starter Figurelli
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  • #1
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Please Help! Line passing through an Ellipse and a Point

Homework Statement



Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and I could really use some help with this problem.

There is an ellipse with the equation: (X^2/4) + Y^2 = 1

There is a point on the graph (4,0)

Find an equation that passes through the line and the point...(must use the chain rule)


Homework Equations



(X^2/4) + Y^2 = 1

The Attempt at a Solution



I attempted to derive the slope of the circle: (DY/DX) = (-.5X)/(2Y)...
What do I do from here? Was that part even right? Thanks!
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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The line y=0 passes through the point and the ellipse. I think you want a line that passes through the point (4,0) and is tangent to the ellipse, right? In which case there are two of them.
 
  • #3
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Yes, I suppose you could find either equation but the one in the picture shows the line with a negative slope...
 
  • #4
4,239
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You need two equations for slope, or dy/dx. One is the slope of the upper half of an ellipse. The other is for a line that passes through the point (4,0).
 

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