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Parametric Equations

As a particle moves, its position can often be written in terms of time. Systems like these can be modeled with parametric equations, which cleverly write coordinates in terms of a parameter.

Challenge Quizzes

Parametric Equations Problem Solving


The line segment connecting two points \((-5, 9)\) and \((3, -2)\) can be expressed in parametric equations as \[x=-a+bt, y=c-dt. \quad (0 \leq t \leq 1),\]

where \( t=0 \) corresponds to the point \((-5, 9)\). What is the value of \(a+b+c+d\)?

Let \(a\pi\) be the area of the region bounded by the curve defined by the parametric equations \[x=7\cos 3t, \quad y=7\sin 3t,\] where \(0 \leq t \leq 2\pi\). What is the value of \(a\)?

If \((a, 0)\) is the intersection point of the positive part of the \(x\)-axis and the curve defined by the parametric equations \[x=\sin 4t, y=6\cos 8t \quad (0 \leq t \leq 2\pi),\] what is the value of \(\frac{1}{a^4}?\).

What is the polar equation of this graph?

Two clowns, Twinkle and Jingle, are throwing pies at each other. Twinkle throws a pie toward Jingle from \( 500 \) centimeters away. Its flight path is given by parametric equations \[ \begin{cases} x &=& 100t \\ y &=& 80t - 16t^2 \end{cases} \] where \(t\) is time in seconds.

Two seconds later Jingle launches an interceptor pie from his location with the flight path \[ \begin{cases} x &=& 500 - 500(t-2) \\ y &=& K(t-2) - 16(t-2)^2 \end{cases} \] Find the value of \(K\) which will guarantee that the interceptor pie will hit its target (the pie thrown by Twinkle).


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