Can someone show me how to simplify this equation, so it represents a conic section.
x^2-2x+y^2-8x+1=0
yes, well, it seems likely to be a typo. you can check the answer in the back of the book, if possible, to see.
anyway, galactus gave you the answer:
$\displaystyle (x-1)^{2}+(y-4)^{2}=16$
what kind of conic section does this describe? maybe writing it as $\displaystyle (x-1)^{2}+(y-4)^{2}=4^2$ would help...
you should not be guessing. you should be able to tell from the answer galactus gave
the equation of a circle can be written in the form: $\displaystyle (x - h)^2 + (y - k)^2 = r^2$
when in this form, the center is $\displaystyle (h,k)$ and the radius is $\displaystyle r$