Geometrically speaking, the parabola – like the circle, the ellipse, and the hyperbola – is a curve generated by the intersection of a plane with a cone.

The plane that generates a parabola is parallel to the generatrix of the cone.

The plane that generates a hyperbola is parallel to the axis of the cone.

The plane that generates a circle is perpendicular to the axis of the cone.

The plane that generates an ellipse is inclined both with respect to the axis and the generatrix of the cone.

This model replicates a didactic demonstration by Bonaventura Cavalieri (1598-1647).

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