 # Eccentricity

The eccentricity in the conic section uniquely characterises the shape where it should possess a non- negative real number. In general, eccentricity means a measure of how much the deviation of the curve has occurred from the circularity of the given shape. We know that the section obtained after the intersection of a plane with the cone is called the conic section. We will get different kinds of conic sections depends on the position of the intersection of the plane with respect to the plane and the angle made by the vertical axis of the cone. In terms of fixed-point called focus and the fixed-line called the directrix in the plane, the term “eccentricity” is defined.

## Eccentricity of Conic Sections

We know that there are different conics such as a parabola, ellipse, hyperbola and circle. The eccentricity of the conic section is defined as the distance from any point to its focus, divided by the perpendicular distance from that point to its nearest directrix. The eccentricity value is constant for any conics.

## Eccentricity Definition

For any conic section, there is a locus of a point in which the distances to the point (focus) and the line (directrix) are in the constant ratio. That ratio is known as eccentricity, and the symbol “e denotes it”.

## Eccentricity Formula

The formula to find out the eccentricity of any conic section is defined as:

Eccentricity, e = c/a

Where,

c = distance from the centre to the focus

a = distance from the centre to the vertex

For any conic section, the general equation is of the quadratic form:

Ax2 + Bxy + Cy2 + Dx + Ey + F = 0

Here you can learn the eccentricity of different conic sections like parabola, ellipse and hyperbola in detail.

## Eccentricity of Circle

A circle is defined as the set of points in a plane that are equidistant from a fixed point in the plane surface called “centre”. The term “radius” defines the distance from the centre and the point on the circle.  If the centre of the circle is at the origin, it will be easy to derive the equation of a circle. The equation of the circle is derived using the below-given conditions.

If “r’ is the radius and C (h, k) be the centre of the circle, by the definition, we get, | CP | = r.

We know that the formula to find the distance is,

√[(x –h)2+( y–k)2]= r

Take Square on both the sides, we get

(x –h)2+( y–k)2= r2

Thus, the equation of the circle with centre C(h, k) and radius “r” is (x –h)2+( y–k)2= r2

Also, the eccentricity of the circle is equal 0, i.e. e = 0.

## Eccentricity of Parabola

A parabola is defined as the set of points P in which the distances from a fixed point F (focus) in the plane are equal to their distances from a fixed-line l(directrix) in the plane. In other words, the distance from the fixed point in a plane bears a constant ratio equal to the distance from the fixed-line in a plane.

Therefore, the eccentricity of the parabola is equal 1, i.e. e = 1.

The general equation of a parabola is written as x2 = 4ay and the eccentricity is given as 1.

## Eccentricity of Ellipse

An ellipse is defined as the set of points in a plane in which the sum of distances from two fixed points is constant. In other words, the distance from the fixed point in a plane bears a constant ratio less than the distance from the fixed-line in a plane.

Therefore, the eccentricity of the ellipse is less than 1, i.e. e < 1.

The general equation of an ellipse is written as:

$$\frac{x^{2}}{a^{2}}+\frac{y^{2}}{b^{2}}=1$$ and the eccentricity formula is written as $$\sqrt{1-\frac{b^{2}}{a^{2}}}$$

For an ellipse, a and b are the lengths of the semi-major and semi-minor axes respectively.

## Eccentricity of Hyperbola

A hyperbola is defined as the set of all points in a plane in which the difference of whose distances from two fixed points is constant. In other words, the distance from the fixed point in a plane bears a constant ratio greater than the distance from the fixed-line in a plane.

Therefore, the eccentricity of the hyperbola is greater than 1, i.e. e > 1.

The general equation of a hyperbola is given as

$$\frac{x^{2}}{a^{2}}-\frac{y^{2}}{b^{2}}=1$$ and the eccentricity formula is written as $$\sqrt{1+\frac{b^{2}}{a^{2}}}$$

For any hyperbola, a and b are the lengths of the semi-major and semi-minor axes respectively.

### Eccentricity Problem

Question:

Find the eccentricity of the ellipse for the given equation 9x2 + 25y2 = 225

Solution:

Given :

9x2 + 25y2 = 225

The general form of ellipse is

$$\frac{x^{2}}{a^{2}}+\frac{y^{2}}{b^{2}}=1$$

To make it in general form, divide both sides by 225, we get

$$\frac{x^{2}}{25}+\frac{y^{2}}{9}=1$$

So, the value of a = 5 and b = 3

From the formula of the eccentricity of an ellipse, $$e=\sqrt{1-\frac{b^{2}}{a^{2}}}$$

Substituting a = 5 and b = 3,

$$e = \sqrt{1-\frac{3^{2}}{5^{2}}} =\sqrt{\frac{25-9}{25}} =\sqrt{\frac{16}{25}}$$

e = 4/ 5

Therefore, the eccentricity of the given ellipse is 4/5.

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