# Rectangular hyperbolasWatch

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#1
I'm finding it very difficult to understand the mechanics behind parametric equations.

Maybe an explanation on the following rectangular hyperbola might help:

x = at, y = a/t

Now what does a and t stand for?

Could you help with a real example?

Thank you

jorge
0
14 years ago
#2
Parametric equations are simply basic cartesian equations 'split up'. A new independant parameter (say, for example, t) is introduced to express the relationship between two (or more) variables explicitally.

x=at
y=a/t

The independant parameter here is t, and the dependant variables are x and y. If you re-write the equations with t as the subject you get:
t=x/a
t=a/y

Since t=t, this gives:
a/y=x/a => xy=a²

This is the equation of a type of rectangular hyperbola. (A rectangular hyperbola is a curve with perpendicular asymptotes, but you don't have to know this for P3.)
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