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Picture of an Ellipse

The Ellipse

3.4.2

The Ellipse
An ellipse is the locus of all points in a plane such that the sum of the distances from two given points in the plane, the foci, is constant.

Minor Axis

Major Axis Focus 2

Focus 1

Point

PF1 + PF2 = constant


3.4.2

Picture of an Ellipse

The Ellipse
Standard Form Equation of an Ellipse

The general form for the standard form equation of an ellipse is

3.4.2

The Standard Forms of the Equation of the Ellipse The standard form of an ellipse centred at the origin with the major axis of length 2a along the x-axis and a minor axis of length 2b along the y-axis, is:

x y 2 + 2 = 1 a b

3.4.3

The Standard Forms of the Equation of the Ellipse [contd] The standard form of an ellipse centred at the origin with the major axis of length 2a along the y-axis and a minor axis of length 2b along the x-axis, is:

x2 y 2 2 + 2 = 1 b a

3..4

Picture of an Ellipse

The Ellipse

3.4.2

Picture of an Ellipse

The Ellipse

3.4.2

The Pythagorean Property

b
F1(-c, 0)

a c F (c, 0) 2

a2 = b2 + c2 b2 = a2 - c2 c2 = a2 - b2
Length of major axis: 2a Length of minor axis: 2b Vertices: (a, 0) and (-a, 0) Foci: (-c, 0) and (c, 0)
3.4.5

The Standard Forms of the Equation of the Ellipse [contd] The standard form of an ellipse centred at any point (h, k) with the major axis of length 2a parallel to the x-axis and a minor axis of length 2b parallel to the y-axis, is:

(x h) (y k) + =1 2 2 a b
2 2

(h, k)

3.4.6

The Standard Forms of the Equation of the Ellipse [contd] The standard form of an ellipse centred at any point (h, k) with the major axis of length 2a parallel to the y-axis and a minor axis of length 2b parallel to the x-axis, is:

(x h) (y k) + =1 2 2 b a
2 2

(h, k)

3.4.7

Finding the General Form of the Ellipse


The general form of the ellipse is: Ax2 + Cy2 + Dx + Ey + F = 0 A x C > 0 and A C The general form may be found by expanding the standard form and then simplifying:
(x 4)2 (y + 2)2 + =1 2 2 3 5 x2 8x + 16 y 2 + 4y + 4 + =1 9 25
2
2

[
2
2

225

25(x 8x + 16) + 9(y + 4 y + 4) = 225


25x 200x + 400 + 9 y + 36y + 36 = 225

25x2 + 9y2 - 200x + 36y + 211 = 0


3.4.8

Finding the Centre, Axes, and Foci State the coordinates of the vertices, the coordinates of the foci, and the lengths of the major and minor axes of the ellipse, defined by each equation. x y + =1 a) The centre of the ellipse is (0, 0). 16 9
2 2

a c

Since the larger number occurs under the x2, the major axis lies on the x-axis. The length of the major axis is 8. The length of the minor axis is 6. The coordinates of the vertices are (4, 0) and (-4, 0).

To find the coordinates of the foci, use the Pythagorean property: c2 = a2 - b2 = 42 - 32 The coordinates of the foci are: = 16 - 9 ( 7,0 ) and ( 7,0 ) =7 c= 7

3.4.9

Finding the Centre, Axes, and Foci b) 4x2 + 9y2 = 36 x y + =1 9 4


2 2

The centre of the ellipse is (0, 0). Since the larger number occurs under the x2, the major axis lies on the x-axis. The length of the major axis is 6. The length of the minor axis is 4. The coordinates of the vertices are (3, 0) and (-3, 0).

b c

To find the coordinates of the foci, use the Pythagorean property. c2 = a2 - b2 = 32 - 22 =9-4 =5 c= 5 The coordinates of the foci are:

( 5 ,0 ) and ( 5 ,0 )
3.4.10

Finding the Equation of the Ellipse With Centre at (0, 0) a) Find the equation of the ellipse with centre at (0, 0), foci at (5, 0) and (-5, 0), a major axis of length 16 units, and a minor axis of length 8 units. Since the foci are on the x-axis, the major axis is the x-axis.

x2 y 2 2 + 2 = 1 a b x2 y 2 2 + 2 = 1 8 4 x2 y 2 + =1 64 16
64 64 x2 y 2 64 + 16 = [1]

The length of the major axis is 16 so a = 8. The length of the minor axis is 8 so b = 4.

Standard form x2 + 4y2 = 64 x2 + 4y2 - 64 = 0 General form


3.4.11

Finding the Equation of the Ellipse With Centre at (0, 0) b)

The length of the major axis is 12 so a = 6. The length of the minor axis is 6 so b = 3.

x2 b2 x2 2 3 x2 9

y2 + 2 =1 a y2 + 2 =1 6 y2 + =1 36

36

x2 y 2 36 9 + 36 = [1]
4x2 + y2 = 36 4x2 + y2 - 36 = 0 General form

Standard form

3.4.12