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Evolution of the Telescope

  • Jacob W. M. Baars
  • Hans J. Kärcher
Chapter
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 447)

Abstract

Conic sections were first “discovered” by Menaechmus (380–320 bc) and fully studied by Apollonius of Perga (died ca. 190 bc), a contemporary of Archimedes. He introduced the common names ellipse, parabola and hyperbola for the three conic sections that serve as the defining curves for reflectors of electromagnetic radiation. Pappus of Alexandria (~290–350 CE) proved that a point on a conic exhibits a constant ratio of its distance to a given point and to a given line. This constant is known as the eccentricity of the conic; the fixed point is the focus and the line is called directrix.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jacob W. M. Baars
    • 1
  • Hans J. Kärcher
    • 2
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für RadioastronomieBonnGermany
  2. 2.MT Mechatronics - consultantKarbenGermany

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