Conic sections – the curves made by slicing through cones at various angles – were studied by the ancient Greeks, but because of their useful properties, have many real-world uses. Planets have elliptical orbits, projectiles move in parabolas, and cooling towers have hyperbolic cross-sections. But did you know that one of the most important curves in economics is a hyperbola? Or that ellipses are used to cure kidney stones?
A lecture by Sarah Hart
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website. There are currently over 2,000 lectures free to access or download from the website.