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Chapter 10

Conic Sections

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

Sketching parabolas

Writing the equations of circles in their standard form

Picking out the center and radius from the standard equation of a circle

Sketching circles

Writing ...

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