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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Conics Sections
(Parabola and Ellipses)
Mathematics 54Elementary Analysis 2

Institute of Mathematics
University of the Philippines-Diliman

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Introduction

A conic section is a plane figure formed when a right-circular cone is cut

by a plane. Below are samples of conic sections.

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Parabola
The set of all points in the plane whose distance from a fixed point (focus)
is equal to its distance from a fixed line (directrix).

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Consider the directix and the focus situated this way:

A point P = (x, y) is on the parabola if

distance of P to F
p
(x p)2 + (y 0)2
p
(x p)2 + y 2
(x p)2 + y 2
2
x 2px + p2 + y 2
y2

= distance of P to D

= x (p)

= x + p
= (x + p)2
= x2 + 2px + p2
= 4px
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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola

y2 = 4px
focus: (p, 0)
directrix: x = p

The line through the focus that is perpendicular to the directrix is

called axis of symmetry or simply, axis.
The intersection of the axis and the parabola is the vertex. Its
distance from the focus is p, which is its distance from the directrix.
The line segment with endpoints on the parabola and parallel to the
directrix that contains the focus is called latus rectum.
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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
y 2 = 4px

F : (p, 0)

p>0

x2 = 4py
p>0

D : x = p
p<0

F : (0, p)

D : y = p
p<0

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Example
Sketch the graph of 12y = x2 .
Solution:
The equation can be written as
4(3)y = x2 .
Here, p = 3, thus the parabola
opens upwards.
The vertex is at the origin.
The focus is at (0, 3).
The endpoints of the latus rectum
are at (6, 3) and (6, 3).
Additionally, the directrix is the line
y = 3.
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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Example
Sketch the graph of 4x + 3y 2 = 0.
Solution:
The equation can
be
written as
4x = 3y 2 , or 4 13 x = y 2 .
Here, p = 13 , and the parabola
opens to the left.
The vertex is at the origin.

The focus is at 13 , 0 .
The endpoints

of the
latus rectum

are at 13 , 23 and 13 , 32 .
Additionally, the directrix is the line
x = 13 .
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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola

In general, if the vertex of a parabola is at the point (h, k), then it has either
of the form

(y k)2 = 4p(x h)

(x h)2 = 4p(y k)

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola

Parabola opening to the right

(y k)2 = 4p(x h)

(p > 0)

vertex : (h, k)
focus : (h + p, k)
latus rectum :
(h + p, k 2p)
directrix : x = h p

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Parabola opening to the left
(y k)2 = 4p(x h)

(p > 0)

vertex : (h, k)
focus : (h p, k)
latus rectum :
(h p, k 2p)
directrix : x = h + p

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Parabola opening upward
(x h)2 = 4p(y k)

(p > 0)

vertex : (h, k)
focus : (h, k + p)
latus rectum :
(h 2p, k + p)
directrix : y = k p

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Parabola opening downward
(x h)2 = 4p(y k)

(p > 0)

vertex : (h, k)
focus : (h, k p)
latus rectum :
(h 2p, k p)
directrix : y = k + p

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Example
Sketch the graph of y 2 + 4x + 8y = 0. Also, identify the focus, endpoints of
latus rectum, and the directrix.
Solution:
The equation can be written as
y 2 + 8y + 16 = 4x + 16, or

2
y (4) = 4(1)(x 4).
Here, p = 1, and the parabola opens
to the left.
The vertex is at (4, 4).
The focus is at (3, 4).
The endpoints of the latus rectum
are at (3, 2) and (3, 6).
Also, the directrix is the line x = 5.
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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of a Parabola
Example
Find the equation of the parabola given that the focus is at (3, 2) and the
directrix is the line y = 4.
Solution:

We plot the focus and draw the

directrix.
Thus, the vertex is at (3, 3), and the
parabola opens downwards.
Hence, p = 1 = 4p = 4.
Thus, the equation is
(x 3)2 = 4(y 3).

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Exercises

Exercises

Determine the vertex and orientation of the following parabolas.

1

4y 2 + 4y + x = 2.

x2 6x 2y = 7.

2y 2 6y 9x = 0.

1

3y 2 = 8x.

x2 8x + 4y = 10

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Ellipse

An ellipse is a set of points in the plane whose distances from two fixed
points (foci) sum up to a constant.

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of an Ellipse

Foci : F1 = (c, 0) and F2 = (c, 0)

Vertices : V1 = (a, 0) and V2 = (a, 0)
Endpoints of minor axis: (0, b) and (0, b)
Point P = (x, y) is on the ellipse if
distance of P to F1 + distance of P to F2 = constant2a
q
q
(x + c)2 + y 2 + (x c)2 + y 2 = 2a
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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of an Ellipse

q
(x + c)2 + y 2

x2 + 2cx + c2 + y 2
q
4a (x c)2 + y 2

a2 x2 2cx + c2 + y 2

(x c)2 + y 2
q
4a2 4a (x c)2 + y 2 + x2 2cx + c2 + y 2

4a2 4cx

a4 2a2 cx + c2 x2

a2 x2 2a2 cx + a2 c2 + a2 y 2
2

a c 2 x 2 + a2 y 2

=
=

a4 2a2 cx + c2 x2

a2 a2 c 2

x2
y2
+
a2 a2 c 2

2a

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of an Ellipse

y2
x2
+ 2
=1
2
a a c2

Notice that b2 = a2 c2 .
Thus, we have
x2 y 2
+
= 1.
a2 b2

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of an Ellipse
Ellipse with horizontal major axis
An ellipse with horizontal major axis and center at (0, 0) has the form
x2 y 2
+
=1
a2 b2
where (a > b)

vertices : (a, 0)
length of major axis = 2a
minor axis: (0, b)
length of minor axis = 2b
foci : (c, 0)
where a2 b2 = c2

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of an Ellipse
Remark. An ellipse with vertical major axis
An ellipse with vertical major axis and center at (0, 0) has the form
y 2 x2
+
=1
a2 b2
where (a > b)

vertices : (0, a)
length of major axis = 2a
minor axis: (b, 0)
length of minor axis = 2b
foci : (0, c)
where a2 b2 = c2
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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Ellipse
Example
Sketch the graph of

x2 y 2
+
= 1.
25 9

x2 y 2
+
= 1.
52 32

vertices : V1 (5, 0), V2 (5, 0)

minor axis : B1 (0, 3), B2 (0, 3)
c2 = a2 b2 = 52 32 = 16= 42
foci : F1 (4, 0), F2 (4, 0)

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Ellipse

Example
Sketch the graph of 9x2 + 4y 2 = 36.
Solution. The equation can be written as

x2 y 2
+
= 1.
22 32

vertices : V1 (0, 3), V2 (0, 3)

minor axis : B1 (2, 0), B2 (2, 0)
p
c2 = a2 b2 = 32 22 = 5= ( 5)2
p
p
foci : F1 (0, 5), F2 (0, 5)

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of an Ellipse
In general, suppose the graph of an ellipse is translated so that the center
is at (h, k). The equation of the ellipse has either of the form
(A)

(x h)2 (y k)2
+
=1
a2
b2

or

(B)

(y k)2 (x h)2
+
= 1.
a2
b2

Major Axis

Vertices

Minor Axis

horizontal

(h a, k)

(h, k b)

vertical

(h, k a)

(h b, k)

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Ellipse
Example
Sketch the graph of 25x2 + y 2 4y 21 = 0.
Solution. The equation can be written as
25x2 +y 2 4y+4 = 21+4

= 25x2 +(y2)2 = 25

(x 0)2 (y 2)2
+
=1
12
52

vertices : V1 (0, 7), V2 (0, 3)

minor axis : B1 (1, 2), B2 (1, 2)
p 2
c2 = a2 b2 = 52 12 = 24= 24
p
p
foci : F1 (0, 2+ 24), F2 (0, 2 24)

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Introduction Parabola Ellipse

Exercises

Equation of an Ellipse
Example
Find the equation of the ellipse with one vertex at (3, 2) and its minor axis
has one endpoint at (1, 1)
Solution:
Center : (1, 2)
a=4
b=3
The major axis is
horizontal.
Thus, the equation is
(x + 1)2 (y 2)2
+
= 1.
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9

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Exercises

Exercises
1

Graph the following ellipses.

1

x2 (y 1)2
+
= 1.
4
9

(x 3)2 y 2 + 4y + 4

= 1.
25
9

2x2 + 3y 2 + 16x 18y = 13.

Do as indicated.
1

Determine the equation of the parabola whose focus and vertex are the
vertex and focus, respectively of the parabola x + 4y 2 y = 0.

Determine the equation of the parabola that opens downwards, whose

vertex and focus are the vertices of the ellipse
4(x 2)2 + (y + 1)2 = 1.

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