 # Analytic Geometry Section 3.3

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Analytic Geometry Section 3.3
The Ellipse Analytic Geometry Section 3.3

Definition of “ellipse”
An ellipse is the set of all points in a plane such that the distance from two fixed points (foci) on the plane is a constant.

Equation of the Ellipse
The equation of an ellipse with its center at the origin has one of two forms: The position of the a2 (under the x or y) tells you whether the horizontal or the vertical axis is the major axis of the ellipse.

Ellipse This ellipse has a horizontal major axis that is 16 units long.

Ellipse The minor axis of this ellipse is 10 units in length.

Foci The two foci for this ellipse are the two points lying on the horizontal axis that appear to be a little over 6 units from the origin. The origin is the center of the ellipse. The distance from the center to a focus is “c”.

The segments drawn from the two foci to the point (0,5) on the ellipse are each 8 units in length. Their total length is 16 units. This total length is also the length of the major axis.

Two more segments are added, drawn from the foci to the point (2,4
Two more segments are added, drawn from the foci to the point (2,4.84) on the ellipse. Their lengths are and The sum of these lengths is again 16 units.

The two latest segments, drawn to the point (7,-2
The two latest segments, drawn to the point (7,-2.42) on the ellipse, are units and units in length, a sum of 16 units.

The Ellipse The ends of the major axis are at (a,0) and (-a,0).
The ends of the minor axis are at (0,b) and (0,-b). The foci are at (c,0) and (-c,0).

The Ellipse The sum of the distances from point P to the foci is 2a.
Also,

The endpoints of the two latus recti are found using the equivalence :
A chord through a focus and perpendicular to the major axis is called a latus rectum. The endpoints of the two latus recti are found using the equivalence :

Latus Rectum When the equation of the ellipse is
So the endpoints of the latus recti are:

The Ellipse The major axis is the vertical axis with endpoints (0,13) and (0,-13). The endpoints of the major axis are called the vertices. The minor axis has endpoints of (5,0) and (-5,0).

The foci are found using
so the values of c are 12 and -12. The coordinates of the foci are (0,12) and (0,-12).

The endpoints of the latus recti are:

Problem: Determining an equation
Find the equation of the ellipse with foci at (8,0) and (-8,0) and a vertex at (12,0). First, place these points on axes. The F and F’ are the foci.

The values of a and b need to be determined.
Finding the equation of the ellipse with foci at (8,0) and (-8,0) and a vertex at (12,0). Since the vertex is on the horizontal axis, the ellipse will be of the form: The values of a and b need to be determined.

applies. Solve for b2 to get In this case,
Finding the equation of the ellipse with foci at (8,0) and (-8,0) and a vertex at (12,0). If the foci are at 8 and -8, then c = 8. Since a vertex is at (12,0), that means that a = 12. Relating these values to the standard form for an ellipse whose center is at the origin and whose major axis is horizontal, , and the equivalence applies. Solve for b2 to get In this case,

So the equation of the ellipse is: or
Finding the equation of the ellipse with foci at (8,0) and (-8,0) and a vertex at (12,0). Since The value of a is 12, and a2 is 144. The value of b is and b2 is 80. So the equation of the ellipse is: or

Ellipse with center at (h,k)
The ellipses with their centers at the origin are just special cases of the more general ellipse with its center at the point (h,k). This more general ellipse has a standard formula of:

Problem: Write the equation in standard form
The general form of the equation is: After writing this in standard form, also find the coordinates of the center, the foci, the ends of the major and minor axes, and the ends of each latus rectum.

Write in standard form:
First, group the terms with x’s and the terms with y’s, and move the constant to the other side of the equation.

Write in standard form:
Now factor out the coefficient of each squared term. Then complete the square for each variable.

To finish the problem: Simplify on the right.
Then divide each side by 32.

The Ellipse This ellipse has a center at .
The major axis is in length, and the minor axis is 4 in length, so their endpoints are ( ,0) and (- ,0), (0,2) and (0,-2). The foci are at (2,0) and (-2,0).

To finish Since the foci are at (2,0) and (-2,0), the endpoints of the latus recti are at

Site and Assignment There’s a neat website that you might want to look at for more on the ellipse. It’s at: Your assignment, due Monday, is: 3.3: 2, 3, 15, 16, 17, 22, 25, 44