- When you slice freshly baked bread, you may not be thinking about geometry.
- But geometric shapes and relationships are right in front of you.
- As you cut the bread, the new shapes are slices of the original loaf.
- The angle you make the cut determines the shape of the slice.
- Take a look at these chili peppers. What shapes could you get if you sliced them at different angles?
- Think of these peppers as right circular cones and your knife as a plane.
- When you slice a right circular cone with a plane you get a shape called a conic section.
- So, depending on the angle of the slice, you could cut a circle, an ellipse, a hyperbola, or a parabola.
- OK, so you can make a nice looking party tray, but really, what’s the big deal if you know you how to cut an ellipse or a parabola from a vegetable?
- Well, it turns out that these shapes appear everywhere in the real world — far beyond your kitchen.
- The Hubble Space Telescope would not work without its hyperbolic mirrors.
- Parabolic dishes are important for receiving communications from satellites and sending data transmissions or broadcasts.
- And many bridges depend on cables that are in the shape of a parabola.
- In this unit, you’ll learn all about the special properties of these3 conic shapes, which scientists, astronomers, architects, artists, athletes, and many others find valuable.
↑ Return to Geometry B
9 – Conic Sections
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