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Math Help - Difficult homework problem...

  1. #1
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    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.

    Thank you for your help.
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor Mathstud28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lauren_c View Post
    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.

    Thank you for your help.
    Are these in Ploar co-ordinates? I would take r'=-b\cos(\theta)
    and work from there....but I could be wrong
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