When Ellipses Are Relevent

Madeline Huang


An example in real life in where ellipses is really important has to do with the process of lithotripsy. Lithotripsy is a method for destroying kidney stones that doesn't require surgery. It is the ideal way to destroying kidney stones with smaller possibility of infection and less recovery time.

How does it work?

The patient lies in a tub that is in an elliptical shape. Their kidney stones are lined up with one of the focii, while shockwaves are emanated from the other focus. The shockwaves are reflected to the focus with the kidney stones, thus destroying the stones.


Scheer, Matt. "Real Life Uses for Ellipses." EHow. Demand Media, 31 May 2011. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ehow.com/info_8522010_real-life-uses-ellipses.html>.

Glydon, Natasha. "Lithotripsy - A Medical Application of the Ellipse." Math Central. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Apr. 2014. <http://mathcentral.uregina.ca/beyond/articles/Lithotripsy/lithotripsy1.html>.