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From the Fun Fact files, here is a Fun Fact at the Easy level:

Conic sections

Figure 1
Figure 1

The conic sections are formed by taking flat slices of a solid double right cone. You can generate them with a lamp and shade!

Take any lamp with a cylindrical shade and observe the light cone's projection on the wall!
Put it next to the wall (hyperbola).
Tilt (parabola).
Tilt more (ellipse).
Align horizontal (circle).

Presentation Suggestions:
Make shadow puppets just to be funny.

The Math Behind the Fact:
See Eccentricity of Conics.

How to Cite this Page:
Su, Francis E., et al. "Conic sections." Math Fun Facts. <>.

Keywords:    geometry
Subjects:    geometry
Level:    Easy
Fun Fact suggested by:   Lesley Ward
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