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Student Study Session

Polar (BC Only)


Polar coordinates are another way of expressing points in a plane. Instead of being centered at
an origin and moving horizontally or vertically, polar coordinates are centered at the pole and
measure a radius out from the pole at a given angle. The beginning angle of zero radians
corresponds to the positive x-axis. Although polar functions are differentiated in r and , the
coordinates and slope of a line tangent to a polar curve are given in rectangular coordinates.
Tangent lines
Remember the following conversions:

x r cos
y r sin

They are necessary to find the derivative of a polar curve in x- and y-coordinates. The derivative
dy
dy
is done parametrically so that
d . Remember, when differentiating in x or y, use the
dx dx
d
product rule formula.
Find the slope of the rose curve r 3 sin 2 at the point where

and use it to write an

equation for the line tangent to the graph.

Solution
First, find the rectangular coordinates of the point
9
x r cos x 3sin 2 cos
4
6
3 3
4
6
Next, find the derivative and evaluate it at the given angle
dy
3sin 2 cos 6 cos 2 sin
dy
d
3sin 2 sin 6 cos 2 cos
dx dx
d
15
3sin 2 cos 6 cos 2 sin
4 5 3

3sin 2 sin 6 cos 2 cos 3 3


3
6
4
3 3 5 3
9

Tangent line is y
x .
4
3
4
y r sin y 3sin 2 sin

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

Area enclosed by polar curves

The area enclosed by a polar curve is calculated by using the formula, A


Remember that d refers to a thin pie-shaped sector.

1 2
r d .
2

Find the area enclosed by the cardioid r 2 2 cos from 0 2 .


Solution

1 2
2
2 2cos d 18.8496

0
2

Area between two polar curves

1
2
2
router rinner d .

2
Notice that the integrand is the difference of the radii squared, not the square of the difference of
the radii. (Like the washer method)
The area enclosed between two polar curves is given by A

Find the area of the region that lies inside the circle r 1 and outside the cardioid r 1 cos .

Solution
The outer curve is the circle r 1 and the inner curve is the cardioid r 1 cos . The points of
intersection are

and

1 2
2
2
d 1.215.
1 1 cos

2 2
If the region has symmetry, determine the area of one segment and then multiply it by the
A

number of symmetric segments. In this case, integrate from 0 to

and double the result.

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

Multiple Choice
1. (calculator not allowed)
Which of the following is equal to the area of the region inside the polar curve r 2cos
and outside the polar curve r cos ?

(A) 3 2 cos 2 d
0

(B)

3 cos 2 d

(C)

3 2
cos 2 d

0
2

(D) 3 2 cos d
0

(E)

3 cos d
0

2. (calculator not allowed)


The area of the region inside the polar curve r 4sin and outside the polar curve r 2 is
given by
(A)
(B)
(C)
(D)
(E)

1
2
4sin 2 d

0
2
1 34
2
4sin 2 d

2 4

1 56
2
4sin 2 d

2 6
1 56
2
16sin 4 d

2 6
1
16sin 2 4 d
2 0

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

3. (calculator not allowed)

Which of the following expressions gives the total area enclosed by the polar curve
r sin 2 shown in the figure above?
(A)

1 2
sin d
2 0

(B)

(C)

1 4
sin d
2 0

(D)

sin 2 d

sin 4 d

(E) 2 sin 4 d
0

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

4. (calculator not allowed)


Which of the following represents the graph of the polar curve r 2sec ?

5. (calculator not allowed)

Which of the following gives the area of the region enclosed by the loop of the graph of the
polar curve r 4cos 3 shown in the figure above?

(A) 16 3 cos(3 ) d

(B)

8 6 cos(3 ) d

(C)

8 3 cos 2 (3 ) d

(D) 16 6 cos 2 (3 ) d

(E)

8 6 cos 2 (3 ) d

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

6. (calculator not allowed)


The area of the region enclosed by the polar curve r sin(2 ) for 0

is

(A) 0
1
(B)
2
(C) 1
(D)
(E)

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

Free Response
7. (calculator allowed)

S
O

5
y and the curve C given by x 1 y 2 .
3
Let S be the shaded region bounded by the two graphs and the x-axis. The line and the curve
intersect at point P.
dx
(a) Find the coordinates of point P and the value of
for the curve C at point P.
dy
The figure above shows the graphs of the line x

2
2
2
2
(c) Curve C is a part of the curve x y 1. Show that x y 1 can be written as the
1
.
polar equation r 2
2
cos sin 2

(d) Use the polar equation from part (c) to setup an integral expression with respect to the
polar angle that represents the area of S.

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

8. (calculator allowed)
2

r  sin2
1

x
3

2

1

The curve above is drawn in the xy-plane and is described by the equation in polar
coordinates r sin 2 for 0 , where r is measured in meters and is measured
in radians. The derivative of r with respect to is given by

dr
1 2cos 2 .
d

(a) Find the area bounded by the curve and the x-axis

(b) Find the angle that corresponds to the point on the curve with x-coordinate -2.

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

2 dr
,
is negative. What does this fact say about r? What does this fact
3
3 d
say about the curve?

(c) For

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

(d) Find the value of in the interval 0

that corresponds to the point on the curve in


2
the first quadrant with greatest distance from the origin. Justify your answer.

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org

Polar (BC only)


Student Study Session

9. (calculator allowed)
y

R
x
O

The graphs of the polar curves r 2 and r 3 2 cos are shown in the figure above.
2
4
.
The curves intersect when
and
3
3
(a) Let R be the region that is inside the graph of r 2 and also inside the graph of
r 3 2 cos , as shaded in the figure above. Find the area of R.

(b) A particle moving with nonzero velocity along the polar curve r 3 2 cos has
position x t , y t at time t, with 0 when t 0. This particle moves along the

dr dr
dr

. Find the value of


at and interpret your answer in
dt d
3
dt
terms of the motion of the particle.

curve so that

dy dy
dy

. Find the value of


at and
3
dt d
dt
interpret your answer in terms of the motion of the particle.

(c) For the particle described in part (b),

Copyright 2013 National Math + Science Initiative, Dallas, TX. All rights reserved. Visit us online at www.nms.org