Tiffany N. Keys Assignment 11:

Polar Equations

 

 

Investigate: r = a + b cos (kQ)

Note: When a and b are equal, and k is an integer, this is one textbook version of the " n-leaf rose."

Compare with b cos (kQ)  for various k. What if . . . cos( ) is replaced with sin( )?

 

 

In r = a + b cos (kQ), the variables a, b, and k are held constant and Q is between 0 and 2

 

When k = 2, the graph is as follows:    

r = a + b cos (2Q)

 

Observations:

     When k=2, there are two leaves on the graph.

     These leaves cross the x-axis at the origin and points (-2,0) and (2,0).

 

When k = 3, the graph is as follows:

r = a + b cos (3Q)

 

Observations:

     When k=3, there are three leaves on the graph.

 

When k = ½, the graph is as follows:

r = a + b cos (1/2Q)

 

Observations:

     When k = ½, the graph appears to be half of the graph when k = 1.

     It is safe to conclude that k determines the number of leaves a graph will contain.

 

Lets move on to investigate r = b cos (kQ)

 

Observations:

     On this graph, there is only one leaf.

     We cannot yet conclude that k determines the number of leaves of a graph because this graph is different in shape from the graph of r = a + b cos (kQ).

 

When k = 2, the graph is as follows:

 

Observations:

     This graph has six leaves.

 

 

When k = 3, the graph is as follows:

 

Observations:

     This graph only has three leaves

     When k = 2, why does the number of leaves double?

 

When k = 4, the graph is as follows:

 

Observations:

     Again, the number of leaves appear to have doubled.

     Can we conclude that when k is an even number the number of leaves will be 2k?

 

When k = 6, the graph is as follows:

 

When k = 8, the graph is as follows:

 

Observations:

     When k = 6, there are 12 leaves on the graph and when k = 8, there are 16 leaves on the graph.

     We can conclude that when k is an even integer, the number of leaves on the graph will be 2k.

 

Lets investigate what the graphs will look like if cosine was replaced with sine . . .

 

The graph of the equation r = a + b sin (kQ) is as follows:

 

r = a + b sin(2Q)           r = a + b sin(3Q)

 

Observations:

     It appears that when cosine is replaced with sine, the graph is rotated across the x-axis

 

The graph of the equation r = b sin (kQ) is as follows:

                                                                                                                                                                       

 

r = b sin(2Q)                 r = b sin(3Q)

Observations:

     Like in the graph of the equation r = a + b sin(kQ), it appears that when cosine is replaced with sine, the graph is rotated across the x-axis

 

 

 

Return to Tiffany N. Keys Homepage