The simplest mathematical terms can cause a real headache in a person who is far from the exact sciences. Definitions such as oval and ellipse are confused not only by schoolchildren, but also by quite adults. Let's try to outline the differences between these concepts using simple and accessible expressions, avoiding mathematical terms.
Oval - it is a closed elongated geometric figure with a regular shape and special properties. Inscribed in a circle, it has at least 4 extremum points, that is, vertices. If you divide the oval with a straight line along two opposite vertices, then the two segments obtained as a result of this action will be absolutely identical. Ellipse is a closed plane curve, a special case of an oval, which has 4 vertices at the extremum points. The central axis, drawn along two opposite extremum points, contains two focal points equidistant from the vertices. The sum of the distances from the foci to any point on the curve of the ellipse is a constant that is equal to the length of the central axis.
Thus, the key difference between these concepts at the everyday level is captured through their definitions. There are many options for constructing an oval, the axes drawn from the points of their vertices can have a different ratio. If we are talking about an ellipse, then there are special conditions for its construction. The major axis has 2 foci equidistant from the vertices.
The sum of the distances from the foci to any point on the curve is always the same and equal to the length of the major axis. This property is used by builders and designers to project figures on the ground. If the distance from the foci is the same, but more or less than the length of the major axis, then we are talking about an oval.
- Volume. Oval is a broader concept that includes an ellipse.
- Properties. For an ellipse, the sum of the distances from two foci lying on the major axis to a point on the curve is the same and is equal to the length of the central axis.