Polar equation

  • Thread starter merced
  • Start date
  • #1
44
1
I have the given polar equation that I have to graph.

r = 5/(-1 + 2 cos θ)

The format is r = ed/(1 +e cosθ)

(e and d are always positive)

I can solve multiply r by -1/-1 --> r = -5/(1 - 2 cosθ).

Is this possible? I thought that the numerator (ed) cannot be a negative number. Is this a misprint or is there a way to solve this?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,121
21
r can be negative... it just means that you actually go 180 degrees the other direction. So for example, when theta is 180 degrees, r is -5/3... so the point is at 5/3 on the *positive* x-axis.
 

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