March 05, 2005

How to draw an ellipse with a pencil, a string, and two nails

I keep forgetting the formula, so here it is for posterity.

In PHP, it looks like this:
$foci = round (sqrt (pow ($major_axis, 2) - pow ($minor_axis, 2)) ,4);

And here's a form to prove it:

Major axis      
Minor axis      

Place nails 1.7321 units apart, string is 2 units long.


For a nice explanation of elliptical math and nomenclature, see
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellipse


Posted by Hal Eckhart at March 5, 2005 09:58 PM | TrackBack
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