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# GITIMH3 94107 Conic Sections Page 1

Introduction
The circle, hyperbola, ellipse and parabola are Conic Sections, they are called this
because they come from the cross-sections and a cone as shown below.

A conic is the locus of a point ‘P’ which moves in a plane so that its distance from a
given point, ‘S’ (focus), and its distance from a fixed line, ‘Z’ (directrix), always are in
the same ratio, that is S

Z M

PS
Equation: e
PM
PS = Distance from point ‘P’ to focus ‘S’
PM = Distance from point ‘P’ to a point ‘M’ on the directrix ‘Z’
e = Eccentricity, the ratio
When,
e=1 i.e. PS = PM, the conic is a Parabola
e < 1 (e  0) i.e. PS < PM, the conic is a Ellipse
e>1 i.e. PS > PM, the conic is a Hyperbola

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Ellipse (e < 1)
x2 y2
General Form:  1 Where, a>b
a2 b2
y 
b2  a 2 1  e2 
Centre  (0, 0)
P M Major axis = 2.a
Minor axis = 2.b
A S’ S A x
Focus  (a.e, 0)
a
Directrix  x  
Z’ Z e

Proof:
Finding Focus: Finding Directrix:
Here, AA’ = 2.a Now, OZ = OA + AZ
SA = e.AM ...(1) Since, AS = e.AZ
SA’ = e.A’M ...(2) AS
OZ  a 
(2)  (1): e
SA’  SA = e(A’M  AM) a  a.e
SA’  SA = 2.a.e ...(3) OZ  a 
e
(2) + (1):
a
SA’ + SA = 2.a ...(4) OZ 
(4)  (3): e
2.SA = 2.a  2.a.e a
 Directrix  x  
SA = a  a.e e
Since, OS = OA  SA
OS = a.e
 S(a.e, 0)

Finding Equation:
So, PS2 = e2.PM2
2

 x  a .e  y  e  a  x 
2 2 2

e 
x  2.a.e.x  a .e  y  a 2  2.a .e.x  e 2 .x 2
2 2 2 2

 
x 2 1  e 2  y 2  a2 1  e2 

x2 y 2
 1 Where, 
b2  a2 1  e2 
a2 b2

## Luke Cole Page 2

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x2 y2
General Form:  1 Where, b>a
a2 b2
M y Z
B  
a 2  b2 1  e2
S Centre  (0, 0)
Major axis = 2.b
Minor axis = 2.a
Focus  (0, b.e)
b
x Directrix  y  
e

S’
Z’ B

Parametric Equation:
Equation: x = a.cos  y = b.sin 

Proof:
Using parametric equations of the circles:
 x = a.cos 
 y = b.sin 

 a

b

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Geometric Properties:
Sum of Focal Lengths are Equal to a Constant
Equation: S’P + SP = 2.a

Proof:
a
Since, PM’ + PM = 2. …(1)
e
SP = e.AM …(2)
SP’ = e.A’M …(3)
(2) + (3):
S’P + SP = e(PM + PM’) …(4)
Sub (1) into (4):
 a
S’P + SP  e 2. 
 e
 S’P + SP = 2.a

Chord of Contact PQ
x .x0 y.y0
Equation:  1
a2 b2
T(x0, y0) is the point of intersection of the tangent P & Q

Proof:
Let, P coordinate be (x1, y1)
Let, Q coordinate by (x2, y2)
x .x1 y . y1
Since, T lies on the tangent 2  2  1
a b
x .x0 y .y 0
 P lies on the line the 2  2  1
a b
x .x2 y. y 2
Since, T lies on the tangent 2  2  1
a b
x .x0 y .y 0
 Q lies on the line the 2  2  1
a b
So, chord of contact, PQ, has equation:
x .x0 y .y 0
  2 1
a2 b

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## The Normal at P Bisects the Angle Between SP and S’P

Equation: S’PG = SPG

M
P
S’ G S N

Proof:
Normal to ellipse: Note:
a 2 .x b 2 .y
  a 2 .e 2 E
x1 y1
a
So, set y = 0 for the coordinate of G:
B
 x = x1.e2
x y
PS' e.PM '
Now,  b
PS e.PM
 a A D C
x  
=  e   e.x1  a AB AD
a a  e.x1 If,  , then x = y
 x1 BC DC
e
GS x1 e 2   a.e  e .x1  a Proof:
And,  
GS' a.e  x1 .e 2 a  e.x1 Extend AB to E, so that BE = BC:
PS' GS' AB AD
   
PS GS BE DC
 S’PG = SPG  BCEC
 x=a
y=b
But, a = b (issosles )
So, x=y

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## The Hyperbola (e > 1)

x2 y2
General Form:  1
a2 b2

b2  a2 e2  1 
b M Transverse axis  2.a
Conjugate axis  2.b
S’ a S Focus  (a.e, 0)
a
Directrix  x  
Z’ Z e
b
Asymptotes  y   x
a
y
Proof: M
Finding Focus: Finding Directrix:
Here, AA’ = 2.a Now, OZ = OA + AZ
SA = e.AMS’ ...(1) S x Since, AS = e.AZ
SA’ = e.A’M ...(2) AS
OZ  a 
(2)  (1): e
Z’ Z
SA’  SA = e(A’M  AM) a  a.e a
SA’  SA = 2.a.e ...(3) OZ  a  
e e
(2) + (1): a
SA’ + SA = 2.a ...(4)  Directrix  x  
(4)  (3): e
2.SA = 2.a  2.a.e Finding Asymptotes:
SA = a  a.e y2 x2
Since, OS = OA  SA So,  1
OS = a.e b2 a 2
 S(a.e, 0) b.x a2
Hence, y 1 2
a x
a2
And, As x  , 0
Finding Equation: x2
So, PS2 = e2.PM2 b
2  y x
 a a
 x  a .e 2  y 2
 e2 x  
 e
x  2.a.e.x  a .e  y  e 2 .a 2  2.a .e .x  a 2
2 2 2 2

  
x 2 e 2  1  y 2  a2 e2  1 

x2 y 2

a2 b2
1 Where, 
b2  a 2 e2  1

## Luke Cole Page 6

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y2 x2
General Form: 2
 2
1
a b
y 
b2  a2 e2  1
P Transverse axis  2.a
S Conjugate axis  2.b
Focus  (0, a.e)
Z a
Directrix  y  
M x e
a
Z’ Asymptotes  y   x
b
S’

Parametric Equation:
Equation: x = a.sec  y = b.tan 

Proof:
Using parametric equations of the circles:
 x = a.sec 
 y = b.tan 
a
P
b

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## Geometric Properties (Proofed Similar to Ellipse):

Sum of Focal Lengths are Equal to a Constant
Equation: S' P  SP  2.a

Chord of Contact PQ
x .x0 y . y 0
Equation:  2 1
a2 b
T(x0, y0) is the point of intersection of the tangent P & Q

## The Normal at P Bisects the Angle Between SP and S’P

Equation: S’PG = SPG

S’ G S

## Luke Cole Page 8

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Rectangular Hyperbola:
 From the general form of a hyperbola:
 b=a (i.e. asymptotes are perpendicular to each other)
 e 2 
[since b 2  a 2 e 2  1 ] 
General Form: x2  y2  a2
y b=a
M Transverse axis  2.a
Conjugate axis  2.a
S’ S x Focus  S (  a 2 ,0 )
a
Directrix  x  
2
Z’ Z Asymptotes  y   x

y
Proof: M
Finding Focus: Finding Directrix:
Since, S(a.e, 0) a
S’ S x Since, Directrix  x  
 S (  a 2 ,0 ) e
a
 Directrix  x  
Finding Equation:
Z’ Z 2
x2 y 2 Finding Asymtotes:
Since,  1
a2 b2 b
Since, y x
And, b=a a
 x2  y2  a2 And, b=a
 y  x

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Equation: x.y = c2
y a
c
Z 2
S
Transverse axis  2.a
Conjugate axis  2.a
Z’
Focus  S ( c 2 ,c 2 )
Directrix  x  y  c 2
S’ Asymptotes  y = 0 & x = 0

Proof:
Finding Relationship Between a & c:
Comparing x 2  y 2  a 2 and the same locus rotated anticlockwise through 45
a2  c2  c2
a
 c
2

## Finding Focus: Finding Directrix:

Let, S have coordinates (t, t) Let, M have coordinates (t, t)
So, t 2  t 2  2 a 2 Where, a  c 2 a2
So, t2 t2  Where, a  c 2
2.t 2  4.c 2 2
 t  c 2  2.t 2  c 2
c
 S ( c 2 , c 2 )  t
2
 c c 
 M   , 
 2 c
And, gradient of directrix is “m =  1”
c  c 
So, y  1 x  
2  2
 x  y  c 2

Finding Equation:
So, PS2 = e2.PM2
 2
c  
2
x  c 2   y  c 2 
2 2
 2 x 
c  
 y   
 2  2  
x 2  2 2 .c .x  2.c 2  y 2  2 2 .c .y  2.c 2  2.x 2  2 2 .c .x  c 2  2. y 2  2 2 .c .y  c 2
 x.y = c2

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Parametric Equations:
c
Equation: x = c.t y
t

Geometric Properties:
Chord of Contact PQ
Equation: x . y 0  y .x 0  2.c 2
T(x0, y0) is the point of intersection of the tangents at P & Q

Equation: x  p .q . y  c  p  q 