March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is an appealing and multifaceted geometric shape that has drew the attention of mathematicians and scientists for ages. Its unique properties and unsophisticated yet exquisite equation makes it a powerful tool for molding a broad range of real-world phenomena. From the flight path of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola performs an important role in many domains, including architecture, engineering, physics, and math.

A parabola is a type of U-shaped piece, which is a curve formed by intersecting a cone through a plane. The parabola is determined by a quadratic equation, and its features, for instance the focus, directrix, vertex, and symmetry, offer valuable insights into its action and uses. By understanding the parabola formula and its properties, we could gain a deeper recognition for this rudimental geometric shape and its many usages.

In this blog article, we wish to examine the parabola in detail, from its equation and properties to instances of how it could be applied in multiple domains. Even if you're a learner, a working professional, or merely curious about the parabola, this blog will provide a exhaustive summary of this interesting and important concept.

Parabola Equation

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

y = ax^2 + bx + c

at this point a, b, and c are constants that determine the shape, size, and position of the parabola. The value of a decides if the parabola opens up or down. If a is more than 0, the parabola opens upward, and if a less 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 point where the curve shifts direction. It is further the point where the axis of symmetry intercepts the parabola. The axis of symmetry is a line which goes across the vertex and splits the parabola within two equal halves.


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


The parabola is symmetric with respect to its axis of symmetry. This states that if we reflect any location 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 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 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. First, we need to calculate the vertex, axis of symmetry, and intercepts. We can apply 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.

Later, we can work out the x-intercepts by taking y = 0 and solving for x. We obtain:

x^2 - 4x + 3 = 0

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

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

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

Applying this knowledge, we could sketch the graph of the parabola by 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 a projectile's trajectory is a general example of the parabola in physics. Once a projectile is launched or thrown upward, it follows a path that is described by a parabolic equation. The equation for the course of a projectile thrown from the ground at an angle θ with an initial velocity v is given 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 length covered by the object, respectively.

The trajectory of the object is a parabolic curve, 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 spot of the projectile, and the directrix portrays the height above the floor where the projectile would strike if it were not affected by gravity.


In conclusion, the parabola formula and its characteristics play a crucial function in various domains of study, including arithmetics, engineering, architecture, and physics. By knowing the equation of a parabola, its properties for example the focus, directrix, and vertex, and symmetry, and its various applications, we can obtain a deeper comprehension of how parabolas work and how they could be used to model real-world scenario.

Whether you're a learner struggling to understand the theories of the parabola or a working professional looking to use parabolic equations to real-life problems, it's crucial to have a firm foundation in this basic topic.

That's where Grade Potential Tutoring enters. Our expert teachers are accessible online or face-to-face to provide individualized and effective tutoring services to guide you master the parabola and other math concepts. Contact us today to plan a tutoring session and take your mathematical abilities to the next level.