# Find the equation of the hyperbola.

• Jun 13th 2013, 08:11 AM
FatimaA
Find the equation of the hyperbola.
Two microphones, I mile apart, record an explosion. Microphone A receives the sound 2 seconds beforemicrophone B. Find the equation of the hyperbola that represents the position of where the explosion occurred (Use 1 mile = 5280 feet and that sound travels at 1100feet per second).

My work:

(2 seconds x (1100 ft/sec) x (1 mile/5280 ft)) = 5/12 miles

2a = (5/12)

a = 5/24

Using the equation (y^2)/(a^2) - (x^2)/(b^2) I determined:

(y^2)/((5/12)^2) - (x^2)/(b^2)

I'm not sure what to do beyond this point and I'm not even sure if I've taken the right steps. Let me know if anything needs clarification.

• Jun 13th 2013, 11:47 AM
ebaines
Re: Find the equation of the hyperbola.
The equation for the hyperbola is y^2/a^2 - x^2/b^2 = 1. You have a = 5/24 (although you miswrote it as 5/12 in the last line of your post), so now you need to find the value of 'b'. Use the formula c^2 = a^2 + b^2, where for a hyperbola 'c' = the distance from the center to each focus, which for this problem is 1/2 mile. Can you finish it from here?