Overview

The shapes created by intersecting a plane with a double cone are called conic sections. This unit will discuss these shapes which include: parabolas, circles, ellipses, and hyperbolas. In diagram 1, the plane intersects one cone at an angle through one side of the cone creating a parabola. In the bottom half of diagram 2, the horizontal plane intersects one cone creating a circle. In the top half of diagram 2, the plane intersects one cone at an angle creating an ellipse. In diagram 3, the vertical plane intersects both cones creating a hyperbola.

conics

In this unit you will learn the formal definition and formula of each conic. You will graph and explore applications of each shape.