What is Parabola,Definition,Graph

What is Parabola: If the intersecting plane is parallel to the generator of the cone but cut only one nappe is called parabola. We have already stated that a conic section is a parabola if e = 1. Here e is the eccentricity.

We shall first derive an equation of a parabola in standard form and study its important properties.

If we take the focus of the parabola as F (a, 0),\;a > 0 and its directrix as line L whose equation is x = -a, then its equation becomes very simple. Let P(x, y) be a point on the parabola.

So, by definition

What is Parabola

\frac{\left|PF\right|}{\left|PM\right|}=1 \;\;\;\;or\;\;\;\; \left|PF\right|=\left|PM\right|




Substituting into (1), we get





which is standard equation of Parabola

Some Definitions:

what is parabola

  • The line through the focus and perpendicular to the directrix is called axis of parabola. In case of (2), the axis is y = 0.
  • The point where the axis meets the parabola is called vertex of parabola. Clearly the equation (2) has vertex .A(0,0).. The line through A and perpendicular to the axis of the parabola has equation x = 0.. It meets the parabola at coincident points and so it is a tangent to the curve at A.
  • A line joining two distinct points on a parabola is called a chord of parabola. A chord passing through the focus of a parabola is called a focal chord of parabola. The focal chord perpendicular to the axis of the parabola (1) is called latusrectum of parabola. It has an equation x = a and it intersects the curve at the points where

y^2 = 4a^2 \;\;\;\;\;or\;\;\;\;\; y+\pm 2a

Thus coordinates of the end points L and L’ of the latusrectum are

L(a ,2a )\;\;\;\;\;\; and\;\;\;\;\; L'(a ,- 2a ).

The length of the latusrectum is \left|LL'\right|=4a

  • The point (at^2 , 2at) lies on the parabola [/katex]y^2=4ax[/katex] for any real t.

x = at^2 \;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;,y = 2at

are called parametric equations of parabola y^2 = 4ax

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Azhar Ali

Azhar Ali

I graduated in Mathematics from the University of Sargodha, having master degree in Mathematics.

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