March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is an appealing and multifaceted geometric shape that managed to drew the attention of mathematicians and scientists for hundreds of years. Its exceptional properties and simple yet exquisite equation makes it a strong tool for modeling a broad assortment of real-world phenomena. From the flight path of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola performs a crucial role in various fields, involving engineering, physics, architecture, and math.

A parabola is a type of U-shaped portion, which is a curve made by intersecting a cone over a plane. The parabola is defined with a quadratic equation, and its features, such as the directrix, vertex, focus, and symmetry, provide valuable understanding into its action and applications. By comprehending the parabola formula and its features, we can gain a detailed appreciation for this fundamental geometric shape and its many usages.

In this blog article, we wish to study the parabola in detail, from its properties and equation to instances of in what way it can be used in multiple fields. Whether you're a learner, a working professional, or just curious about the parabola, this article will offer a comprehensive summary of this interesting and important concept.

Parabola Equation

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

y = ax^2 + bx + c

here a, b, and c are constants which establish the size, shape, and position of the parabola. The value of a decides whether the parabola opens up or down. If a > 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 spot where the curve switches direction. It is also 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 symmetrical portions.


The focus of the parabola is the point] on the axis of symmetry that is equal distance from the directrix and vertex. The directrix is a line which is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and situated at a length 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 focus and the directrix.


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


The parabola intersects the x-axis at two points, provided 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 few basic examples of Parabolas:

Example 1: Graphing a Parabola

Let's graph the parabola y = x^2 - 4x + 3. First, we need to figure out the vertex, axis of symmetry, and intercepts. We can use the formula:

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

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

vertex = (2, -1)

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

Later, we can figure out the x-intercepts by assuming y = 0 and solving 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 coordinates (0, c) = (0, 3).

Utilizing this information, 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 between them.

Example 2: Application of Parabola in Physics

The parabolic shape of an object's trajectory is a common applications of the parabola in physics. Once an object is thrown or launched into the air, it follows a course which is represented with a parabolic equation. The equation for the course 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))

here g is the acceleration due to 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 location (0, 0) and the axis of symmetry corresponding to the ground. The focal point of the parabola portrays the landing point of the object, and the directrix depicts the height above the floor where the object would strike if it weren’t affected by gravity.


In summary, the parabola formula and its properties perform an essential function in several domains of study, involving math, engineering, architecture, and physics. By understanding the equation of a parabola, its properties for instance the focus, directrix, and vertex, and symmetry, and its various uses, we can obtain a detailed understanding of how parabolas function and how they can be used to model real-life scenario.

Whether you're a learner struggling to understand the concepts of the parabola or a working professional want to apply parabolic equations to real-life challenges, it's crucial to possess a solid foundation in this elementary topic.

This's where Grade Potential Tutoring walks in. Our adept instructors are accessible online or face-to-face to provide personalized and effective tutoring services to help you conquer the parabola and other mathematical concepts. Connect with us today to schedule a tutoring session and take your mathematical abilities to the next level.