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Properties of Conics 1

Parabola P

In the following diagram, S is the focus, DD is the di-

rectrix, A the vertex, the line AS the axis and P an arbi-
trary point on the parabola. P T is the tangent and P G
the normal to the parabola. N T is the sub tangent and T
N G is the sub normal. Also ZS = 2a is a fixed parameter
of the parabola. B



G Figure 2:

pp 11. Tangents drawn at the extremities of any

chord intersect on the diameter bisecting that chord. (See
Fig. 2)

D pp 12. If the tangents at the ends of a chord P Q

intersect at T , then T P and T Q subtend equal angles
at the focus; that is P ST = QST . Also, P SQ =
2P T Q.
Figure 1:
pp 13. If the tangents at the ends of a chord P Q
pp 1 (Defn). P S = P M and P N = 4AS AN 2 intersect at T , then SP SQ = ST 2 , S being the focus.

pp 2. SP = ST = SG. Hence P ST is isosceles and pp 14. The area of the triangle formed by three points
SP T = ST P . on a parabola is twice the area of the triangle formed
by tangents at these points. With reference to Fig. 3,
pp 3. The tangent P T bisects SP M and hence M Ar(P QR) = 2 Ar(BDE).
is the reflection of S on the tangent line P T .
pp 4. Mid-point of SM (which is Y in the diagram) P

lies on the tangent at the vertex.

pp 5. The vertex can be obtained by drawing a line B

perpendicular to any tangent intersecting it at Y and then

dropping a perpendicular on the axis from Y .
pp 6. The vertex A bisects the sub tangent N T while
the sub normal N G is a constant equal to half the latus ..

pp 7. If the tangent at P meets the directrix at K

then KSP = 90 because KSP = KM P .
pp 8. Tangents drawn at the extremities of any focal
chord intersect on the directrix at right angles.
pp 9. The length of any focal chord inclined to the
axis at an angle is 4a csc2 . Figure 3:

For any conic, the diameter is the locus of the mid Note: If three points (at2i , 2ati ), i = 1, 2, 3 be taken on
points of a family of parallel chords. For a parabola, a the standard parabola y 2 = 4ax, then the area of the
diameter is always a line parallel to the axis. triangle formed by these points is
pp 10. Tangent drawn to the parabola at the point a2 |(t1 t2 )(t2 t3 )(t3 t1 )|
where a diameter meets it, is parallel to the chord which
that diameter bisects. (See Fig. 2) while the area of the triangle formed by tangents at these

Anant Kumar Mob. No. 9002833857, 9932347531

Properties of Conics 2

points is P T is the tangent and P G the normal at P . P M is the

distance from the directrix. Also CA = CA = a is the
1 2
a |(t1 t2 )(t2 t3 )(t3 t1 )|. semi-major axis of the ellipse, b its semi-minor axis, and
2 e its eccentricity. The shown is called the eccentric
pp 15. The circle circumscribing the triangle formed angle of the point P .
by any three tangents to a parabola passes through the b2
focus. pe 1 (Defn). P S = eP M , and P N 2 = AN A N .
pp 16. The orthocentre of the triangle formed by any pe 2. CS = CS = ae and CZ = CZ = a/e.
three tangents to a parabola, lie on the directrix.
pe 3. P S = a + eCN , P S = a eCN , so that
pp 17. If the normals at three points P , Q, and R P S + P S = 2a = AA .
meet in a point O, then PN b
pe 4. = , so that the ellipse can also be defined
as the locus of points which divide the semi-chords on a
where A and S are respectively the vertex and the focus diameter of a circle in a fixed ratio. Also, CN = a cos
of the parabola. and P N = b sin .

pp 18. If the diameter bisecting chord AB intersects pe 5. CN CT = a2 , CG = e2 CN , and SG = eSP .

the parabola at C, then area of ACB = area of pe 6 (Reflection property). The normal SG bisects
4 the angle SP S internally while the tangent ST bisects
the parabolic segment ACB.
this angle externally.
Next refer to Figure 6. P Y is a tangent and P G the
B normal at an arbitrary point P of the ellipse.

.. C E

Figure 4:

Ellipse g

Figure 6:
A Z pe 7. If SY and S Y be the perpendiculars from the
foci upon the tangent at any point P of the ellipse, then
Y and Y lie on the auxiliary circle.
pe 8. SY S Y = b2 . Also CY S P and CY SP .
pe 9. CY bisects SP and CY bisects S P .
pe 10. The circle drawn on SP as diameter touches
the auxiliary circle at Y .
Figure 5:
pe 11. If the normal at any point P meet the ma-
In the diagram shown in Fig. 5, C is the center, S and S jor and minor axes in G and g, and if CF be the
are the focii, A and A the vertices of the ellipse. The line perpendicular upon this normal, then P F P G = b2
ZZ is the axis while M Z and Z K are the directrices. P and P F P g = a2 . Also P G P g = SP S P , and
is an arbitrary point on the ellipse and Q its correspond- CG CT = CS 2 , where T is the point where the tan-
ing point on the auxiliary circle. P N is the ordinate of P , gent at P intersects the axis of the ellipse.

Anant Kumar Mob. No. 9002833857, 9932347531

Properties of Conics 3

pe 12. The tangent at the extremity of any diameter

is parallel to the chords which it bisects.

pe 13. The tangents at the ends of any chord meet

on the diameter bisecting that chord.

pe 14. If P CP and DCD are a pair of conjugate

diameters, the eccentric angles of P and D dier by a
right angle.



Figure 7:

pe 15. CP 2 + CD2 = a2 + b2
pe 16. Area of parallelogram KLM N formed by tan-
gents at the extremities of conjugate diameters is = 4ab.

pe 17. SP SP = CD2
pe 18. If a pair of conjugate diameters are extended
to meet a directrix, the orthocentre of the triangle thus
formed lies at the corresponding focus.

Anant Kumar Mob. No. 9002833857, 9932347531