March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is an appealing and versatile geometric shape that has drew the attention of scientists and mathematicians for centuries. Its unusual properties and simple yet exquisite equation makes it a powerful equipment for modeling a wide assortment of real-life phenomena. From the trajectory of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola performs a crucial role in many fields, involving engineering, physics, architecture, and mathematics.

A parabola is a kind of U-shaped section, that is a curve formed by intersecting a cone over a plane. The parabola is determined by a quadratic equation, and its features, such as the vertex, focus, directrix, and symmetry, give valuable insights into its behavior and functions. By comprehending the parabola formula and its characteristics, we can get a deeper recognition for this fundamental geometric shape and its many uses.

In this article, we will explore the parabola in depth, from its equation and properties to instances of how it can be used in multiple domains. Whether you're a student, a working professional, or simply curious about the parabola, this blog article will offer a complete overview of this intriguing and essential concept.

Parabola Equation

The parabola is defined by a quadratic equation of the form:

y = ax^2 + bx + c

where a, b, and c are constants which establish the size, shape, and position of the parabola. The value of a determines if the parabola opens upward or downward. If a > 0, the parabola opens upward, and if a lower than 0, the parabola opens downward. The vertex of the parabola is located at the point (-b/2a, c - b^2/4a).

Properties of the Parabola

Here are the properties of Parabola:


The vertex of the parabola is the point where the curve shifts direction. It is further the point where the axis of symmetry crosses the parabola. The axis of symmetry is a line which goes across the vertex and divides the parabola into two proportionate portions.


The focus of the parabola is the point] on the axis of symmetry which is equal distance from the directrix and vertex. The directrix is a line which is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and situated at a distance of 1/4a units from the vertex.


The directrix is a line that is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and situated at a distance of 1/4a units from the vertex. Every points on the parabola are equidistant from the directrix and the focus.


The parabola is symmetric with respect to its axis of symmetry. Which states that if we consider any location on one side of the axis of symmetry across the axis, we attain a corresponding point on the opposite side of the axis.


The parabola crosses the x-axis at two points, specified by the formula:

x = (-b ± sqrt(b^2 - 4ac)) / 2a

The parabola intersects the y-axis at the location (0, c).

Examples of Parabolas

Here are some basic examples of Parabolas:

Example 1: Graphing a Parabola

Let's graph the parabola y = x^2 - 4x + 3. Primarily, we need to find the vertex, axis of symmetry, and intercepts. We can use the formula:

vertex = (-b/2a, c - b^2/4a)

to find the vertex. Plugging in the values a = 1, b = -4, and c = 3, we get:

vertex = (2, -1)

So the vertex is positioned at the point (2, -1). The axis of symmetry is the line x = 2.

Later, we can work out the x-intercepts by setting y = 0 and calculating for x. We get:

x^2 - 4x + 3 = 0

(x - 3)(x - 1) = 0

So the parabola intersects the x-axis at x = 1 and x = 3.

In the end, the y-intercept is the coordinates (0, c) = (0, 3).

Utilizing this knowledge, we could draw the graph of the parabola through plotting the vertex, the x-intercepts, and the y-intercept, and portraying the curve of the parabola within them.

Example 2: Application of Parabola in Physics

The parabolic shape of an object's trajectory is a standard applications of the parabola in physics. While an object is thrown or launched into the air, it follows a course which is represented by a parabolic equation. The equation for the path of a projectile thrown from the ground at an angle θ with an initial velocity v is represented by:

y = xtan(θ) - (gx^2) / (2v^2cos^2(θ))

where g is the acceleration because of gravity, and x and y are the horizontal and vertical distances traveled by the projectile, respectively.

The trajectory of the projectile is a parabolic curve, along with the vertex at the point (0, 0) and the axis of symmetry parallel to the ground. The focal point of the parabola portrays the landing point of the projectile, and the directrix represents the height above the floor where the projectile would hit if it were not influenced by gravity.


Finally, the parabola formula and its characteristics perform an essential function in many fields of study, including mathematics, engineering, architecture, and physics. By knowing the equation of a parabola, its characteristics such as the vertex, focus, directrix, and symmetry, and its various applications, we could obtain a deeper comprehension of how parabolas function and how they can be applied to model real-world phenomena.

Whether you're a student struggling to comprehend the concepts of the parabola or a professional want to apply parabolic equations to real-life problems, it's crucial to possess a firm foundation in this elementary topic.

This's where Grade Potential Tutoring comes in. Our adept tutors are available online or face-to-face to provide individualized and productive tutoring services to guide you conquer the parabola and other mathematical theories. Call us right now to plan a tutoring session and take your arithmetic abilities to the next stage.