AskDefine | Define hyperbola

Dictionary Definition

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

User Contributed Dictionary



From (huperbolē)


hyperbola (plural hyperbolas or hyperbolae)
  1. A conic section formed by the intersection of a cone with a plane that intersects the base of the cone and is not tangent to the cone.


geometric curve



  1. hyperbola

Extensive Definition

distinguish hyperbole
In mathematics, a hyperbola (Greek , "over-thrown") is a type of conic section defined as the intersection between a right circular conical surface and a plane which cuts through both halves of the cone.
It may also be defined as the locus of points where the difference in the distance to two fixed points (called the foci) is constant. That fixed difference in distance is two times a where a is the distance from the center of the hyperbola to the vertex of the nearest branch of the hyperbola. a is also known as the semi-major axis of the hyperbola. The foci lie on the transverse axis and their midpoint is called the center.
For a simple geometric proof that the two characterizations above are equivalent to each other, see Dandelin spheres.
Algebraically, a hyperbola is a curve in the Cartesian plane defined by an equation of the form
A x^2 + B xy + C y^2 + D x + E y + F = 0
such that B^2 > 4 AC, where all of the coefficients are real, and where more than one solution, defining a pair of points (x, y) on the hyperbola, exists.
The graph of two variables varying inversely on the Cartesian coordinate plane is a hyperbola.


The first two were listed above:
  • The intersection between a right circular conical surface and a plane which cuts through both halves of the cone.
  • The locus of points where the difference in the distance to two fixed points (called the foci) is constant.
  • The locus of points for which the ratio of the distances to one focus and to a line (called the directrix) is a constant larger than 1. This constant is the eccentricity of the hyperbola.
A hyperbola comprises two disconnected curves called its arms or branches which separate the foci. At large distances from the foci the hyperbola begins to approximate two lines, known as asymptotes. The asymptotes cross at the center of the hyperbola and have slope \pm \frac for an East-West opening hyperbola or \pm \frac for a North-South opening hyperbola.
A hyperbola has the property that a ray originating at one of the foci is reflected in such a way as to appear to have originated at the other focus. Also, if rays are directed towards one of the foci from the exterior of the hyperbola, they will be reflected towards the other focus.
The simplest example of these are the hyperbolas


East-west opening hyperbola:
r^2 =a\sec 2\theta \,
North-south opening hyperbola:
r^2 =-a\sec 2\theta \,
Northeast-southwest opening hyperbola:
r^2 =a\csc 2\theta \,
Northwest-southeast opening hyperbola:
r^2 =-a\csc 2\theta \,
In all formulas the center is at the pole, and a is the semi-major axis and semi-minor axis.


East-west opening hyperbola:
x = a\sec t + h \\ y = b\tan t + k \\ \end \qquad \mathrm \qquad\begin x = \pm a\cosh t + h \\ y = b\sinh t + k \\ \end
North-south opening hyperbola:
x = a\tan t + h \\ y = b\sec t + k \\ \end \qquad \mathrm \qquad\begin x = a\sinh t + h \\ y = \pm b\cosh t + k \\ \end
In all formulae (h,k) are the center coordinates of the hyperbola, a is the length of the semi-major axis, and b is the length of the semi-minor axis.

See also

hyperbola in Afrikaans: Hiperbool
hyperbola in Arabic: قطع زائد
hyperbola in Bulgarian: Хипербола
hyperbola in Catalan: Hipèrbola
hyperbola in Czech: Hyperbola
hyperbola in Danish: Hyperbel
hyperbola in German: Hyperbel (Mathematik)
hyperbola in Estonian: Hüperbool
hyperbola in Modern Greek (1453-): Υπερβολή (γεωμετρία)
hyperbola in Spanish: Hipérbola
hyperbola in Esperanto: Hiperbolo
hyperbola in Persian: هذلولی
hyperbola in French: Hyperbole (mathématiques)
hyperbola in Korean: 쌍곡선
hyperbola in Hindi: अति परवलय
hyperbola in Indonesian: Hiperbola (matematika)
hyperbola in Italian: Iperbole (geometria)
hyperbola in Hebrew: היפרבולה
hyperbola in Georgian: ჰიპერბოლა
hyperbola in Lithuanian: Hiperbolė
hyperbola in Hungarian: Hiperbola
hyperbola in Dutch: Hyperbool (wiskunde)
hyperbola in Japanese: 双曲線
hyperbola in Norwegian: Hyperbel
hyperbola in Polish: Hiperbola (matematyka)
hyperbola in Portuguese: Hipérbole
hyperbola in Romanian: Hiperbolă
hyperbola in Russian: Гипербола (математика)
hyperbola in Slovak: Hyperbola
hyperbola in Slovenian: Hiperbola
hyperbola in Serbian: Хипербола
hyperbola in Finnish: Hyperbeli
hyperbola in Swedish: Hyperbel
hyperbola in Tamil: அதிபரவளைவு
hyperbola in Vietnamese: Hyperbol
hyperbola in Chinese: 双曲线

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1