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Math and Arithmetic
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What is the difference between a circle and a ellipse?

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2011-09-24 17:06:24
2011-09-24 17:06:24

Basically a circle has a constant radius throughout and an ellipse does not.
a circle has a constant radius

an ellipse has two foci. they are at either end of the ellipse

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A circle is perfectly round and an ellipse is oval.

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An ellipse is a shape on which the sum of the distances from every point to two points inside called the foci (focuses) is always the same number. A circle is an ellipse with both foci (focuses) at the same point.

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-- the eccentricity or -- the distance between the foci or -- the ratio of the major and minor axes

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The simple answer is that an ellipse is a squashed circle.A more precise answer is that an ellipse is the locus (a collection) of points such that the sum of their distances from two fixed points (called foci) remains a constant. A circle is the locus of points that are all the same distance from a fixed point. If the two foci are moved closer together, the ellipse becomes more and more like a circle and finally, when they coincide, the ellipse becomes a circle. So, a circle is a special case of an ellipse.

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an ellipse is a circle.


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