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# What is a rectangular hyperbola?

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A rectangular hyperbola is a hyperbola containing orthogonal asymptotic lines. Before rectangular hyperbolas were first studied by Menaechmus, general hyperbolas were studied by Euclid and Aristaeus. Apollonius later studied both general and rectangular hyperbolas.

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Credit: WALTER ZERLA Cultura Getty Images

Hyperbolas are centered on a point which is considered the center of the hyperbola. The point on each branch closest to the center is known as the branch's vertex. The vertices are located from a fixed distance from the center. The transverse axis goes through the center from one vertex to the other. Inside each branch are the foci and located at a fixed distance from the center.

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