Conics Paper

Topics: Ellipse, Conic section, Orbit Pages: 1 (298 words) Published: October 8, 2013
For my role in researching the ellipse, I researched the history of the ellipse. I learned many things that helped me understand the ellipse more. I never knew that people studied ellipses as far back as 380 BC. I never studied any history over the ellipse until now, and it is very interesting to see that everyone just called ellipses circles because they were both round. After they circle was defined, the ellipse did not fit in the description, and scientists began to study them. It wasn’t until the early 1600s when the focus was discovered by Kepler. Scientists first started thinking about the ellipse while studying the orbit shape of the planets. After years of research, they decided to make a new conic shape instead of calling all of the ellipses circles. They knew the seasons which helped them consider that the earth is not revolving in a circle, but rather in an oval.

The length of an ellipse wasn’t discovered until 1914 by Ramanujan. According to Kepler's First Law of Planetary Motion, the orbit of each planet is an ellipse, with one focus of that ellipse at the center of the Sun. Newton's reconsideration of this law states that the orbit of each planet is a conic section, with one focus of that conic section at the center of the Sun. To properly understand planetary orbits, we therefore need some understanding of ellipses in particular and conic sections in general.

Ellipses are used in our everyday lives. It is important to know where they came from and how far they date back (Even though they have been here since the earth was created).

Since you see them everywhere, why not try and learn more about them?

Source: http://www-history.mcs.st-and.c.uk/Curves/Ellipse.html
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