Education Technology

Polar Conics

Published on 09/28/2011

Activity Overview

This lesson involves exploration of polar equations for conic sections.

Objectives

  • Students will understand that the equations for conics can be expressed in polar form.
  • Students will be able to describe the relationship between eccentricity and the type of conic section.
  • Students will be able to describe the relationship between distance from the conic to the directrix and the graph of the conic section.
  • Students will be able to describe the effects of a phase shift in the polar form of an equation for a conic on the graph of the conic.

Vocabulary

  • polar form
  • conic
  • parabola
  • ellipse
  • hyperbola
  • directrix
  • eccentricity
  • phase shift

About the Lesson

This lesson involves exploration of polar equations for conic sections.
As a result, students will:

  • Manipulate the parameters of polar equations for conics and observe the results.
  • Investigate the parameters required to produce a specified conic.