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# What are real life examples of conic sections?

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Some real-life examples of conic sections are the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen, which reveals an ellipse in cross-section, and the fountains of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, which comprise a parabolic chorus line, according to Jill Britton, a mathematics instructor at Camosun College. The conics curves include the ellipse, parabola and hyperbola.

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The ellipse is the most common conic curve frequently seen in everyday life because each circle appears elliptical when viewed obliquely, states Britton. For example, the surface of water in a glass obtains an elliptical outline when the glass is tilted. Salami is usually cut obliquely to acquire elliptical slices. The orbits of the earth's artificial satellites and the moon are elliptical as well as the paths of comets that permanently orbit the sun. Another elliptic structure is the Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capital building. An elliptical billiard table demonstrates the ability of the ellipse to rebound an object beginning from one focus to another, causing a ball to rebound to the other focus when positioned at a certain focus and thrust with a cue stick.

A real-life example of a parabola is a baseball being hit into the air and following a parabolic path, explains Britton. The center of gravity of a jumping porpoise also describes a parabola.

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## Related Questions

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When a pitcher throws a baseball, it follows a parabolic path, providing a real life example of the graph of a quadratic equation. The parabolic function predicts if the ball arrives in the batting range for the particular hitter and the time between it leaving the pitcher's hand and crossing the plate. There are many real life examples of such shapes ranging from video games to engineering.

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Trigonometry has applications in a number of scientific fields, ranging from geography and astronomy to engineering and physics. One of the most important early real-life examples of trigonometry involved using the knowledge that the earth was a sphere for navigation. Ptolemy put trigonometry to work in his work "Geography", and Christopher Columbus used trigonometry in finding his way from Spain to what he thought was India but ended up being the New World.

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Real-life examples of trapezoids include certain table tops, bridge supports, handbag sides and architectural elements. Since a trapezoid cannot be three-dimensional, many real-life examples of trapezoids are only partly designed with that shape. For example, the surface of a table might be a trapezoid, but its legs and supports are not.