March 16, 2023

Equation, Properties, Examples | Parabola Formula

The parabola is a fascinating and versatile geometric shape that has captured the attention of mathematicians and scientists for hundreds of years. Its unusual properties and simple yet exquisite equation makes it a powerful equipment for molding a wide assortment of real-world phenomena. From the path of a projectile to the shape of a satellite dish, the parabola plays a crucial role in many fields, including engineering, physics, architecture, and mathematics.

A parabola is a kind of U-shaped piece, which is a curve formed by overlapping a cone through a plane. The parabola is determined with a quadratic equation, and its features, for instance the vertex, focus, directrix, and symmetry, give valuable insights into its performance and functions. By understanding the parabola formula and its properties, we can obtain a deeper recognition for this rudimental geometric shape and its multiple usages.

In this blog, we will examine the parabola in detail, from its properties and equation to instances of how it could be used in various domains. Even if you're a learner, a professional, or just curious about the parabola, this blog will offer a comprehensive overview of this interesting and crucial concept.

Parabola Equation

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

y = ax^2 + bx + c

here a, b, and c are constants which determine the size, shape, and position of the parabola. The value of a decides whether the parabola opens up or down. 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 shifts direction. It is additionally the point where the axis of symmetry intersects the parabola. The axis of symmetry is a line that goes across the vertex and divides the parabola into two equal portions.


The focus of the parabola is a point] on the axis of symmetry that is equidistant from the vertex and the directrix. 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 which is perpendicular to the axis of symmetry and placed at a distance 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 in relation to its axis of symmetry. Which 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 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. Foremost, we have to calculate the vertex, axis of symmetry, and intercepts. We can use the formula:

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

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

vertex = (2, -1)

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

Later, we can work out the x-intercepts by setting y = 0 and calculating 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.

Finally, the y-intercept is the coordinates (0, c) = (0, 3).

Utilizing this information, we can draw 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 shape of a projectile's trajectory is a common applications of the parabola in physics. When a projectile is thrown or launched upward, it follows a course which is represented with a parabolic equation. The equation for the course of a projectile thrown from the ground at an angle θ through an initial velocity v is given 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 location (0, 0) and the axis of symmetry corresponding to the ground. The focal point of the parabola depicts the landing point of the projectile, and the directrix represents the height above the floor where the projectile would hit if it were not influenced by gravity.


In conclusion, the parabola formula and its characteristics perform a crucial role in various fields of study, including mathematics, physics, engineering, and architecture. By knowing the equation of a parabola, its properties for instance the focus, directrix, and vertex, and symmetry, and its several applications, we can obtain a deeper comprehension of how parabolas work and how they could be utilized to model real-world scenario.

Whether you're a student finding it challenging to grasp the concepts of the parabola or a working professional looking to apply parabolic equations to real-world problems, it's important to have a firm foundation in this fundamental topic.

This's where Grade Potential Tutoring enters. Our adept teachers are available online or face-to-face to offer individualized and effective tutoring services to guide you master the parabola and other math theories. Contact us today to schedule a tutoring session and take your arithmetic abilities to the next stage.