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Thread: Graphing Hyperbolas and Ellipses

  1. #1
    Sketchpad Developer
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Graphing Hyperbolas and Ellipses

    A user recently asked how to graph a hyperbola. Because hyperbolas and ellipses cannot be expressed explicitly as functions, they must be graphed as parametric equations. I just posted a sample sketch with information on how to use the Graph | Plot Parametric Curve command to graph hyperbolas (pages 1 and 2) and ellipses (page 3).

    There's one more thing worth pointing out. By going to Help | Sample Sketches & Tools, you can download Conic Sections.gsp from the Custom Tools folder. With the tools in this sketch, you can construct various conic sections as loci based on features like directrix and focus (for a parabola) or five points. (Five points determine any conic, so this tool constructs the appropriate circle, parabola, ellipse, or hyperbola based on how you position the five points.)
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