1. ## Difficult homework problem...

I need help on one of my homework problems:

Let a, b be non-zero real numbers, and consider the curve
r = a + b cos(theta) .
Determine the width and height of the smallest rectangle, with sides parallel to the coordinate axes, which contains this curve.

Hint: You will have to consider several different cases. You may wish to first assume for simplicity that a = 1, b > 0 (but there will still be several cases), then derive the general case from that.

2. Originally Posted by lauren_c
I need help on one of my homework problems:

Let a, b be non-zero real numbers, and consider the curve
r = a + b cos(theta) .
Determine the width and height of the smallest rectangle, with sides parallel to the coordinate axes, which contains this curve.

Hint: You will have to consider several different cases. You may wish to first assume for simplicity that a = 1, b > 0 (but there will still be several cases), then derive the general case from that.

Are these in Ploar co-ordinates? I would take $\displaystyle r'=-b\cos(\theta)$