March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is an appealing and multifaceted geometric shape which has drew the attention of mathematicians and scientists for hundreds of years. Its unusual properties and plain yet elegant equation makes it a powerful equipment for modeling a wide range of real-world phenomena. From the path of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola plays an essential role in many fields, involving engineering, physics, architecture, and mathematics.

A parabola is a kind of U-shaped piece, which is a curve created by overlapping a cone through a plane. The parabola is determined with a quadratic equation, and its properties, for example the focus, directrix, vertex, and symmetry, offer precious understanding into its behavior and functions. By understanding the parabola formula and its features, we can gain a detailed appreciation for this fundamental geometric shape and its multiple applications.

In this blog article, we will examine 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 student, a working professional, or just curious about the parabola, this article will offer a exhaustive summary of this fascinating and essential concept.

Parabola Equation

The parabola is defined by 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 controls if 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 location where the curve switches direction. It is additionally the point where the axis of symmetry crosses the parabola. The axis of symmetry is a line which moves across the vertex and divides the parabola within two proportionate halves.


The focus of the parabola is a point] on the axis of symmetry which is equidistant from the directrix and vertex. 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 situated at a length of 1/4a units from the vertex. All points on the parabola are equal distance from the directrix and the focus.


The parabola is symmetric in relation to its axis of symmetry. This means that if we select any point on one side of the axis of symmetry throughout the axis, we obtain a corresponding point on the other 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. Primarily, we have to figure out the vertex, axis of symmetry, and intercepts. We can use 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 attain:

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 work out the x-intercepts by taking y = 0 and calculating for x. We get:

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).

Utilizing this knowledge, we could draw the graph of the parabola through plotting the vertex, the x-intercepts, and the y-intercept, and portraying the curve of the parabola between them.

Example 2: Application of Parabola in Physics

The parabolic shape of a projectile's trajectory is a common example of the parabola in physics. While an object is thrown or launched upward, it follows a path which is described with 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 represented by:

y = xtan(θ) - (gx^2) / (2v^2cos^2(θ))

where g is the acceleration due to gravity, and x and y are the horizontal and vertical length traveled by the object, respectively.

The trajectory of the projectile 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 spot of the object, and the directrix portrays the height above the ground where the projectile would hit if it were not impacted by gravity.


In conclusion, the parabola formula and its properties perform an essential function in several domains of study, involving math, physics, engineering, and architecture. By understanding the equation of a parabola, its properties such as the focus, directrix, and vertex, and symmetry, and its several utilizations, we can gain a deeper understanding of how parabolas work and how they can be utilized to model real-life phenomena.

Whether you're a student finding it challenging to understand the concepts of the parabola or a professional looking to use parabolic equations to real-world challenges, it's crucial to have a solid foundation in this fundamental topic.

That's where Grade Potential Tutoring comes in. Our experienced teachers are available online or face-to-face to provide individualized and productive tutoring services to guide you master the parabola and other math concepts. Contact us right now to schedule a tutoring session and take your math abilities to the next level.