Conics are plane sections of a
right-circular cone. These sections give birth to four different
curves: circle, ellipse, parabola and
These curves represent the orbits solution
of the 2-body problem. They were found by Newton, who invented
the infinitesimal calculus to solve this precise problem. But to
determine in which orbit the body will lie it is necessary to
introduce another concept: the binding
Energy of the object.
||Conics are characterized by different values of the
orbital parameters (click
here to know more about the orbital parameters):
the major semiaxis, is
easily defined for the ellipse and the circle. In the
case of a parabola, it is considered infinite while for
an hyperbola, it is considered negative.
in the case of an ellipse, will assume values ranging
from 0 (for the circle) to 1. While in the case of a
parabola it will assume value =1 and will be superior to
1 in the case of an hyperbola.