Conic Sections
     Circle and Line
      Tangents to a circle from a point outside the circle - use of the tangency condition
      Angle between a line and a circle
      Mutual position of two circles
Tangents to a circle from a point outside the circle - use of the tangency condition
Example:  Find the angle between tangents drawn from the point A(-1, 7) to the circle x2 + y2 = 25 .
Solution:   Equations of tangents we find from the system formed by equation of the line and the tangency condition,
  A(-1, 7) =>  (1)   y = mx + c  =>   c = m + 7  =>  (2)
                       (2)   r2(m2 + 1) = c2   
                                                      
            25(m2 + 1) = (m + 7)2
12m2 - 7m - 12 = 0 =>  m1 = - 3/4  and   m2 = 4/3
c1 = - 3/4 + 7 = 25/4  and   c2 = 4/3 + 7 = 25/3
therefore, the equations of tangents,
t1 ::  y- (3/4)x + 25/4  and  t2 ::  y =  (4/3)x + 25/3.
Slopes of tangents satisfy perpendicularity condition, that is
m1 = - 1/m2  =>    j = 90.
Example:   Given is a line  -3x + y + 1 = 0 and a circle x2 + y2 - 6x - 4y + 3 = 0, find equations of tangents to the circle which are perpendicular to the line.
Solution:   Slopes of tangents are determined by condition of perpendicularity, therefore
y = 3x - 1,    m  = 3  so that  mt  = -1/3
x2 + y2 -6x -4 y + 3 = 0  =>   (x - 3)2 + (y - 2)2 = 10
thus,   S(3, 2)  and  r2  = 10.
To find intersections c we use the tangency condition,
r2(m2 + 1) = (q -m p - c)2
10[(-1/3)2 + 1] = [2 -(-1/3)3 - c]or (3 - c)2 = 100/9
(3 - c) = 10/3  so  c1 = -1/3  and  c2 = 19/3.
The equations of tangents are,
t1 ::  y-(1/3)x -1/3  and  t2 ::  y-(1/3)x +19/3.
Example: Find equations of the common tangents to circles x2 + y2 = 13 and (x + 2)2 + (y + 10)2 = 117.
Solution:   Slopes and intersections of common tangents to the circles must satisfy tangency condition of both circles. Therefore, values for slopes m and intersections c we calculate from the system of equations,
The equation  -10 + 2m - c = +3c  does not satisfy given conditions.
The equation  -10 + 2m - c = -3c  or  c = 5 - m  plugged into (1)
Therefore, the equations of the common tangents are,
Angle between a line and a circle
The angle between a line and a circle is the angle formed by the line and the tangent to the circle at the intersection point of the circle and the given line.
Example:   Find the angle between a line 2x + 3y - 1 = 0 and a circle  x2 + y2 + 4x + 2y - 15 = 0.
Solution:   Coordinates of intersections of the line and the circle calculate by solving the system,
Rewrite the equation of the circle to standard form,
x2 + y2  + 4x + 2y - 15 = 0  => (x - p)2 + (y - q)2 = r2
thus, (x + 2)2 + (y + 1)2 = 20S(-2, -1) and  r2  = 20.
Equation of the tangent at the intersection S1,
S1(-4, 3 =>    (x1 - p) (x - p) + (y1 - q) (y - q) = r2
(-4 + 2) (x + 2) + (3 + 1) (y + 1) = 20   =>    t ::   - x + 2y - 10 = 0  or   y = 1/2x + 5
The angle between the line and the circle is the angle formed by the line and the tangent to the circle at the intersection point, therefore
Mutual position of two circles
Two circles k1 and k2 intersect if the distance between their centers is less than the sum, but greater than 
difference, of their radii.
The coordinates of the intersection points of two circles we calculate by solving their equations as system of two quadratic equations,
k1 ::   (x - p1)2 + (y - q1)2 - r1 = 0  and  k2 ::   (x - p2)2 + (y - q2)2 - r22 = 0.
College algebra contents E
Copyright 2004 - 2020, Nabla Ltd.  All rights reserved.