Conic sections get this designation because they can all be described using slices of cones. The most familiar conic section is the circle. Our planets follow elliptical orbits, and comets hyperbolic orbits. That leaves the parabola to reflect upon — it’s the shape of the reflector plates in your car’s headlights.
The Problems You’ll Work On
In this chapter, you’ll work with the different conic sections in the following ways:
Writing the equations of parabolas in their standard form
Picking out the vertex, focus, directrix, and axis of symmetry from the standard equation of a parabola
Writing the equations of circles in their standard form
Picking out the center and radius from the standard equation of a circle