March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is a fascinating and multifaceted geometric shape which has captured the attention of scientists and mathematicians for centuries. Its unusual properties and unsophisticated yet elegant equation makes it a strong tool for modeling a broad array of real-world phenomena. From the trajectory of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola plays a crucial role in many domains, involving architecture, engineering, physics, and mathematics.

A parabola is a kind of U-shaped piece, which is a curve made by overlapping a cone through a plane. The parabola is defined with a quadratic equation, and its characteristics, for example the focus, directrix, vertex, and symmetry, give important understanding into its action and applications. By comprehending the parabola formula and its features, we can gain a deeper admiration for this rudimental geometric shape and its multiple usages.

In this article, we wish to examine the parabola in detail, from its properties and equation to instances of in what way it could be applied in various fields. Even if you're a learner, a professional, or simply interested regarding the parabola, this blog article will provide a comprehensive summary of this interesting and essential concept.

Parabola Equation

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

y = ax^2 + bx + c

where a, b, and c are constants that decide the size, shape, and position of the parabola. The value of a determines 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 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 across the vertex and splits the parabola into two proportionate portions.


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 which is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and placed at a distance of 1/4a units from the vertex.


The directrix is a line that is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and located at a length 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 respect to its axis of symmetry. Which means that if we reflect 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 intersects 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 coordinated (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. Foremost, we need to find the vertex, axis of symmetry, and intercepts. We can utilize the formula:

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

to figure out the vertex. Placing 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.

Next, we can work out 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).

Utilizing this knowledge, we could plot 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: Application of Parabola in Physics

The parabolic curve of a projectile's trajectory is a standard applications of the parabola in physics. When a projectile is launched or thrown upward, it follows a path which is represented with 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 represented by:

y = xtan(θ) - (gx^2) / (2v^2cos^2(θ))

here g is the acceleration due to gravity, and x and y are the horizontal and vertical distances traveled by the projectile, respectively.

The trajectory of the object is a parabolic curve, along with the vertex at the point (0, 0) and the axis of symmetry parallel to the ground. The focus of the parabola depicts the landing point of the object, and the directrix depicts the height above the ground where the object would hit if it were not impacted by gravity.


Finally, the parabola formula and its characteristics perform a crucial role in various domains of study, including mathematics, engineering, architecture, and physics. By understanding the equation of a parabola, its characteristics for instance the directrix, vertex, and focus, and symmetry, and its several applications, we could obtain a detailed understanding of how parabolas work and how they can be used to model real-life phenomena.

Whether you're a student finding it challenging to understand the theories of the parabola or a professional want to utilize parabolic equations to real-world challenges, it's essential to have a firm groundwork in this basic topic.

This's where Grade Potential Tutoring enters. Our expert teachers are accessible online or in-person to provide customized and productive tutoring services to guide you master the parabola and other math concepts. Connect with us today to plan a tutoring session and take your math abilities to the next stage.