March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is a fascinating and versatile geometric shape which managed to captured the attention of mathematicians and scientists for ages. Its unusual properties and plain yet exquisite equation makes it a strong tool for shaping a wide array of real-life phenomena. From the flight path of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola performs an essential role in numerous fields, consisting of architecture, engineering, physics, and mathematics.

A parabola is a type of conic portion, which is a curve created by overlapping a cone with a plane. The parabola is defined by a quadratic equation, and its features, for instance the directrix, vertex, focus, and symmetry, provide precious insights into its performance and uses. By understanding the parabola formula and its characteristics, we could get a deeper admiration for this fundamental geometric shape and its various uses.

In this article, we wish to study the parabola in detail, from its equation and properties to instances of in what way it could be applied in many domains. Even if you're a student, a working professional, or simply interested regarding the parabola, this blog will provide a complete overview of this interesting and crucial idea.

Parabola Equation

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

y = ax^2 + bx + c

at this point a, b, and c are constants that determine the size, shape, and position of the parabola. The value of a determines if the parabola opens upward or downward. If a is greater than 0, the parabola opens upward, and if a less 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 also the point where the axis of symmetry crosses the parabola. The axis of symmetry is a line which goes through the vertex and divides the parabola within two equal portions.


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


The parabola is symmetric with regard to its axis of symmetry. This means that if we reflect any point on one side of the axis of symmetry across the axis, we get a corresponding point on the other side of the axis.


The parabola intersects 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 coordinated (0, c).

Examples of Parabolas

Here are number of basic examples of Parabolas:

Example 1: Graphing a Parabola

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

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

to calculate the vertex. Replacing in the values a = 1, b = -4, and c = 3, we obtain:

vertex = (2, -1)

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

Subsequently, we can find the x-intercepts by taking y = 0 and solving for x. We get:

x^2 - 4x + 3 = 0

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

Therefore 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).

Applying this knowledge, we can sketch the graph of the parabola through plotting the vertex, the x-intercepts, and the y-intercept, and drawing the curve of the parabola within them.

Example 2: Using a Parabola in Physics

The parabolic curve of an object's trajectory is a common example of the parabola in physics. Once an object is thrown or launched into the air, it follows a course that is described with a parabolic equation. The equation for the course of a projectile thrown from the ground at an angle θ through an initial velocity v is provided by:

y = xtan(θ) - (gx^2) / (2v^2cos^2(θ))

here g is the acceleration as a result of gravity, and x and y are the horizontal and vertical length traveled by the object, respectively.

The trajectory of the object 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 represents the landing point of the projectile, and the directrix depicts the height above the ground where the object would strike if it were not influenced by gravity.


Finally, the parabola formula and its properties perform an essential function in many fields of study, consisting of math, engineering, architecture, and physics. By knowing the equation of a parabola, its properties for example the directrix, vertex, and focus, and symmetry, and its several utilizations, we could obtain a deeper comprehension of how parabolas work and how they can be used to model real-world scenario.

Whether you're a learner finding it challenging to comprehend the theories of the parabola or a professional looking to utilize parabolic equations to real-world problems, it's crucial to possess a solid groundwork in this elementary topic.

This's where Grade Potential Tutoring enters. Our experienced tutors are available online or face-to-face to offer personalized and productive tutoring services to help you conquer the parabola and other math theories. Connect with us today to schedule a tutoring session and take your math skills to the next stage.