Conic Sections

What are Conic Sections?

A conic section is any curve produced by the intersection of a plane and a right circular cone. There are 4 types of conic sections, circle, ellipse, parabola, and hyperbola.

Let's start with circles!

First, what is a circle?


A circle is 2-dimensional shape made by drawing a curve that is always the same distance from a center.

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Take a look at some of the pictures below. You can find circles right in your own home!

Do you know what an Ellipse is?

Let's refresh your memory!


An ellipse usually looks like a squashed circle.

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Hmmm. I wonder if I have an ellipse somewhere in my house?

What do you know about parabolas?

What are parabolas? Take a look.

A special curve, shaped like an arch.

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Who knew there are parabolas EVERYWHERE?

Last, let's discover hyperbolas!

A hyperbola an open curve formed by a plane that cuts the base of a right circular cone.

What type of hyperbolas will we find?

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Put it all together!

You've been able to see pictures of the 4 different conic sections. Hopefully, now you understand better what they are. As you go about your day, look around! You never know what type of conic sections you may find!

All definitions were taken from:

www.mathisfun.com