A closed central surface of the second order (see Fig.).
The canonical equation of an ellipsoid has the form
The positive numbers , and and the segments of corresponding lengths are called the semi-axes of the ellipsoid. The section of an ellipsoid by any plane is an ellipse.
If two semi-axes of an ellipsoid are equal, the ellipsoid is called an ellipsoid of revolution, and the sections of an ellipsoid of revolution by planes parallel to the plane of the equal semi-axes are circles. When , the ellipsoid is a sphere. The centre of symmetry of an ellipsoid is called the centre of the ellipsoid.
A second-order surface with canonical equation
is called an imaginary ellipsoid.
As the name suggests, an imaginary ellipsoid does not have real points.
Other characterizations of an ellipsoid are as follows.
|[a1]||M. Berger, "Geometry" , II , Springer (1987)|
|[a2]||J. Coolidge, "A history of the conic sections and quadric surfaces" , Dover, reprint (1968)|
|[a3]||C.M. Petty, "Ellipsoids" P.M. Gruber (ed.) J.M. Wills (ed.) , Convexity and its applications , Birkhäuser (1983) pp. 264–276|
Ellipsoid. Encyclopedia of Mathematics. URL: http://encyclopediaofmath.org/index.php?title=Ellipsoid&oldid=14258