from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A plane curve having two branches, formed by the intersection of a plane with both halves of a right circular cone at an angle parallel to the axis of the cone. It is the locus of points for which the difference of the distances from two given points is a constant.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A conic section formed by the intersection of a cone with a plane that intersects the base of the cone and is not tangent to the cone.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A curve formed by a section of a cone, when the cutting plane makes a greater angle with the base than the side of the cone makes. It is a plane curve such that the difference of the distances from any point of it to two fixed points, called foci, is equal to a given distance. See focus. If the cutting plane be produced so as to cut the opposite cone, another curve will be formed, which is also an hyperbola. Both curves are regarded as branches of the same hyperbola. See Illust. of Conic section, and focus.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A curve formed by the intersection of a plane with a double cone—that is, with two similar cones placed vertex to vertex, so that one is the continuation of the other.
- n. An algebraic curve having asymptotes greater in number by one than its order. This meaning was introduced by Newton.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an open curve formed by a plane that cuts the base of a right circular cone
It gives the best fit to the observed data for this particular kind of curve, which is called a hyperbola.
Just change the name hyperbola and that fits in this case.
Lenski did a sort of short-cut equivalent to that exhaustive operation to arrive at the best-fit hyperbola, which is the one you see drawn in.
If the velocity of the comet is accelerated by this disturbing influence, the orbit will be changed from a parabola into another curve known as a hyperbola, and the comet will swing round the sun and pass away never to return.
The semi-major axis of a hyperbola is the distance of the center of hyperbola from the nearest point of hyperbola.
"The hyperbola," continued the Captain, not minding Ardan's antics, "the hyperbola is a curve of the second order, formed from the intersection of a cone by a plane parallel to its axis, or rather parallel to its two
This article on hyperbola says that the $150 million "is to enable earlier Commercial Resupply Services cargo missions."
The movie businesses and its lobbying arm MPAA fought it with "end of the world" hyperbola.
I agree with a number of the articles propositions but I think that it may have been delving in hyperbola.
* It is always possible that a more complicated mathematical function than a hyperbola would give an even closer fit to the data, but this hyperbola is pretty good, so it hardly seems worth bothering to try.