Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fox 271 - Solutions

Two solutions for Fox 271.
Geometric Solution by Bleaug:

Couldn't resist a geometric approach to this one despite the obvious analytical solution...
We are looking for the osculating circle to the parabola in O. This circle is such that for M approaching O, normal in M crosses normal in O (y axis) at osculating circle's center.
Take the [y=x^2] parabola focal point F(0, 0.25). For any point M, the normal crosses the y axis in P such that FP=FM (because all blue angles are equal). Thus, the tangent in M crosses the y axis in Q such that FM=FQ=FP.
When M approaches O, so does Q so FP=FO. So osculating circle to parabola in O is such that OP=0.5 (diameter=1)

Analytic Geometry by Yu (similar submitted by Joe, Bob Ryden and Newzad):
Let r be the radius of the biggest circle that touches the parabola.
x^2 + (y-r)^2 = r^2, y=x^2. Point(s) of contact:
(0,0), ±(√(2r-1), 2r-1).
Same gradient at point(s) of contact: .: dy/dx = -(x/(y-r)) = 2x, i.e., at x=0 or y=r-(1/2).
.: 2r-1=r-(1/2), r=1/2. Hence there is only one point of contact (0,0), and the biggest circle has a diameter of 1.

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