Stitz-Zeager_College_Algebra_e-book

4 as applied to the right p triangle ort we nd cos v

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Unformatted text preview: In this subsection, we start from scratch to reintroduce the conic sections from a more unified perspective. We have our ‘new’ definition below. Definition 11.1. Given a fixed line L, a point F not on L, and a positive number e, a conic section is the set of all points P such that the distance from P to F =e the distance from P to L The line L is called the directrix of the conic section, the point F is called a focus of the conic section, and the constant e is called the eccentricity of the conic section. We have seen the notions of focus and directrix before in the definition of a parabola, Definition 7.3. There, a parabola is defined as the set of points equidistant from the focus and directrix, giving an eccentricity e = 1 according to Definition 11.1. We have also seen the concept of eccentricity before. It was introduced for ellipses in Definition 7.5 in Section 7.4, and later in Exercise 7 in Section 7.5. There, e was also defined as a ratio of distances, though in these cases the dist...
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