March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is a fascinating 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 range of real-life phenomena. From the path of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola performs an important role in numerous fields, consisting of engineering, physics, architecture, and mathematics.

A parabola is a type of U-shaped piece, that is a curve created by intersecting a cone over a plane. The parabola is defined by a quadratic equation, and its properties, such as the focus, directrix, vertex, and symmetry, offer precious insights into its behavior and functions. By comprehending the parabola formula and its characteristics, we can obtain a detailed appreciation for this fundamental geometric shape and its many usages.

In this article, we wish to study the parabola in depth, from its properties and equation to examples of how it could be applied in various fields. Whether you're a learner, a professional, or just curious regarding the parabola, this blog article will offer a exhaustive overview of this intriguing and crucial concept.

Parabola Equation

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

y = ax^2 + bx + c

at this point a, b, and c are constants which establish the size, shape, and position of the parabola. The value of a controls if the parabola opens upward or downward. If a is more than 0, the parabola opens upward, and if a < 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 location where the curve switches direction. It is also the point where the axis of symmetry crosses the parabola. The axis of symmetry is a line that moves through the vertex and splits the parabola into two equal 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 length of 1/4a units from the vertex.


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


The parabola is symmetric in relation to its axis of symmetry. This defines that if we reflect any given 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, 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 simple 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 utilize the formula:

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

to figure out the vertex. Replacing in the values a = 1, b = -4, and c = 3, we attain:

vertex = (2, -1)

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

Subsequently, we can figure out the x-intercepts by assuming y = 0 and calculating for x. We obtain:

x^2 - 4x + 3 = 0

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

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

Ultimately, the y-intercept is the point (0, c) = (0, 3).

Using this knowledge, we could draw the graph of the parabola by plotting the vertex, the x-intercepts, and the y-intercept, and drawing the curve of the parabola between them.

Example 2: Use of Parabola in Physics

The parabolic curve of an object's trajectory is a general example of the parabola in physics. Once a projectile is launched or thrown into the air, it follows a course which is represented with a parabolic equation. The equation for the path of a projectile thrown 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 because of 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 location (0, 0) and the axis of symmetry corresponding to the ground. The focus of the parabola portrays the landing spot of the object, and the directrix represents the height above the floor where the projectile would strike if it were not influenced by gravity.


Finally, the parabola formula and its properties perform an essential role in many domains of study, involving math, physics, engineering, and architecture. By understanding the equation of a parabola, its characteristics such as the vertex, focus, directrix, and symmetry, and its numerous applications, we could gain a detailed comprehension of how parabolas function and how they can be used to model real-life scenario.

Whether you're a learner finding it challenging to grasp the theories of the parabola or a working professional want to use parabolic equations to real-world problems, it's crucial to have a strong groundwork in this basic topic.

This's where Grade Potential Tutoring comes in. Our expert tutors are accessible online or in-person to offer individualized and effective tutoring services to help you master the parabola and other mathematical theories. Call us right now to plan a tutoring session and take your math skills to the next stage.