A circle can be explained as an ellipse that has a distance from the center to the foci equal to 0. The greater the distance between the center and the foci identify the ovalness the the ellipse. Therefore the ax eccentricity is supplied to describe the ovalness of an ellipse.

You are watching: What is the maximum eccentricity an ellipse can have

If an ellipse is close to circular it has actually an eccentricity close to zero. If an ellipse has an eccentricity close come one it has actually a high level of ovalness.Figure 1 mirrors a picture of two ellipses among which is practically circular with an eccentricity close come zero and the various other with a greater degree of eccentricity.

*

The formal definition of eccentricity is:

ECCENTRICITY OF an ELLIPSE:

The eccentricity (e) of an ellipse is the proportion of the distance from the center to the foci (c) and also the street from the center to the vertices (a).

e= c a


As the distance between the center and also the foci (c) ideologies zero, the ratio of c a viewpoints zero and the shape approaches a circle. A circle has actually eccentricity same to zero.As the distance in between the center and the foci (c) approaches the distance between the center and the vertices (a), the ratio of c a ideologies one. One ellipse through a high degree of ovalness has an eccentricity draw close one.Let"s use this ide in part examples:
Example 1: uncover the eccentricity the the ellipse
x 2 9 + y 2 16 =1

Step 1: determine the worths for the distance between the center and also the foci (c) and also the distance between the center and also the vertices (a).

Length that a: The given equation because that the ellipse is composed in typical form. Due to the fact that the major axis is 2a and the smaller minor axis is 2b, climate a2 > b2, as such a2 = 16.

a 2 =16→a=4

size of c: To uncover c the equation c2 = a2 + b2 can be used however the value of b should be determined. Indigenous our discussion above, b2 = 9. Discover b and also solve because that c.

b 2 =9→b=3

c 2 = 4 2 − 3 2 → c 2 =7→c= 7

action 2: substitute the values for c and also a into the equation because that eccentricity.

e= c a

e= 7 4 →e≈0.66


Example 2: discover the typical equation that the ellipse through vertices at (4, 2) and (-6, 2) v an eccentricity of 4 5 .

Step 1: determine the following:


➢ the orientation of the major axis.

➢ the collaborates of the facility (h, k).
➢ the size of half the major axis (a).
➢ the street of half the boy axis (b).

See more: Does The Curtain Match The Drapes Meaning, What Does The Carpet Matches The Drapes Mean


Orientation of significant axis: due to the fact that the 2 vertices fall on the horizontal heat y = 2, the significant axis is horizontal.

Center: due to the fact that the vertices room equidistant indigenous the center of the ellipse the center can be identify by recognize the midpoint the the vertices.

( h, k )=( 4+( −6 ) 2 ,  2+2 2 )=( − 2 2 , 4 2 )=( −1,2 )

length of a: the length of a is the distance in between the center and also the vertices. To find a take among the vertices and also determine the street from the center.

vertex (4, 2): c=| 4−( −1 ) |=| 5 |=5

vertex (-6, 2): c=| −6− ( −1 ) |=| −5 |=5

a = 5

size of b: To discover b the equation c2 = a2 - b2can be used yet the value of c should be determined. Since the eccentricity is 4 5 the size of c deserve to be found using the worth for a. Then deal with for b.

e= 4 5 = c a

4 5 = c 5 →20=5c→c=4

c 2 = a 2 − b 2 →b= a 2 − c 2

b= 5 2 − 4 2 →b= 9 →b=3

step 2: instead of the worths for h, k, a and also b right into the equation for an ellipse through a horizontal significant axis.

Horizontal significant axis equation:

( x−h ) 2 a 2 + ( y−k ) 2 b 2

substitute values:

< x−( −1 ) > 2 5 2 + ( y−2 ) 2 3 2 =1

Simplify:

( x+1 ) 2 5 2 + ( y−1 ) 2 3 2 =1


Related Links:Math algebra Hyperbola: conventional Equation Hyperbola: Asymptotes Pre Calculus