March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is an attractive and versatile geometric shape which managed to captured the attention of scientists and mathematicians for hundreds of years. Its exceptional properties and simple yet elegant equation makes it a powerful equipment for shaping a broad assortment of real-world phenomena. From the path of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola plays an essential role in numerous domains, consisting of engineering, physics, architecture, and math.

A parabola is a type of U-shaped portion, which is a curve made by intersecting a cone with a plane. The parabola is determined with a quadratic equation, and its properties, for instance the vertex, focus, directrix, and symmetry, offer valuable understanding into its behavior and applications. By grasping the parabola formula and its features, we can get a deeper recognition for this rudimental geometric shape and its many applications.

In this article, we will study the parabola in depth, from its properties and equation to instances of in what way it could be used in multiple fields. Whether you're a student, a professional, or simply curious about the parabola, this blog article will offer a comprehensive summary of this fascinating and crucial idea.

Parabola Equation

The parabola is specified with a quadratic equation of the form:

y = ax^2 + bx + c

where a, b, and c are constants that determine the size, shape, and position of the parabola. The value of a controls whether the parabola opens upward or downward. If a is more than 0, the parabola opens upward, and if a lower than 0, the parabola opens downward. The vertex of the parabola is situated 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 spot where the curve changes direction. It is further the point where the axis of symmetry intersects the parabola. The axis of symmetry is a line that passes through the vertex and splits the parabola into two symmetrical parts.


The focus of the parabola is the point] on the axis of symmetry that is equidistant from the directrix and vertex. The directrix is a line that is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and located 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 focus and the directrix.


The parabola is symmetric with regard to its axis of symmetry. Which defines that if we select any point on one side of the axis of symmetry throughout the axis, we attain a corresponding point on the other side of the axis.


The parabola crosses the x-axis at two points, given 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 calculate 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 location (2, -1). The axis of symmetry is the line x = 2.

Later, we can find the x-intercepts by setting y = 0 and solving 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.

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

Using this information, 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 general example of the parabola in physics. While a projectile is thrown or launched into the air, it follows a path which is represented by a parabolic equation. The equation for the path of a projectile launched from the ground at an angle θ through an initial velocity v is provided by:

y = xtan(θ) - (gx^2) / (2v^2cos^2(θ))

where g is the acceleration due to gravity, and x and y are the horizontal and vertical length traveled by the object, respectively.

The trajectory of the projectile is a parabolic curve, with the vertex at the location (0, 0) and the axis of symmetry parallel to the ground. The focus of the parabola depicts the landing spot of the object, and the directrix depicts the height above the ground where the object would hit if it weren’t affected by gravity.


Finally, the parabola formula and its characteristics play an important function in many domains of study, including mathematics, engineering, architecture, and physics. By understanding the equation of a parabola, its properties such as the focus, directrix, and vertex, and symmetry, and its several applications, we can gain a detailed comprehension of how parabolas function and how they can be utilized to model real-world scenario.

Whether you're a student struggling to understand the theories of the parabola or a professional looking to use parabolic equations to real-life challenges, it's important to possess a solid groundwork in this elementary topic.

That's where Grade Potential Tutoring comes in. Our experienced tutors are available online or in-person to offer individualized and productive tutoring services to help you master the parabola and other math concepts. Call us right now to plan a tutoring session and take your mathematical skills to the next level.