x2/a2 + y2/b2 = 1
x = a cos(t), y = b sin(t)
Click below to see one of the Associated curves.
|Definitions of the Associated curves||Evolute|
|Involute 1||Involute 2|
|Inverse curve wrt origin||Inverse wrt another circle|
|Pedal curve wrt origin||Pedal wrt another point|
|Negative pedal curve wrt origin||Negative pedal wrt another point|
|Caustic wrt horizontal rays||Caustic curve wrt another point|
Kepler, in 1602, said he believed that the orbit of Mars was oval, then he later discovered that it was an ellipse with the sun at one focus. In fact Kepler introduced the word "focus" and published his discovery in 1609. The eccentricity of the planetary orbits is small (i.e. they are close to circles). The eccentricity of Mars is 1/11 and of the Earth is 1/60.
In 1705 Halley showed that the comet, which is now called after him, moved in an elliptical orbit round the sun. The eccentricity of Halley's comet is 0.9675 so it is close to a parabola (eccentricity 1).
The area of the ellipse is πab. There is no exact formula for the length of an ellipse in elementary functions and this led to the study of elliptic functions. Ramanujan, in 1914, gave the approximate length
The evolute of the ellipse with equation given above is the Lamé curve.
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