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Key equations

Parabola, vertex at origin, axis of symmetry on x -axis y 2 = 4 p x
Parabola, vertex at origin, axis of symmetry on y -axis x 2 = 4 p y
Parabola, vertex at ( h , k ) , axis of symmetry on x -axis ( y k ) 2 = 4 p ( x h )
Parabola, vertex at ( h , k ) , axis of symmetry on y -axis ( x h ) 2 = 4 p ( y k )

Key concepts

  • A parabola is the set of all points ( x , y ) in a plane that are the same distance from a fixed line, called the directrix, and a fixed point (the focus) not on the directrix.
  • The standard form of a parabola with vertex ( 0 , 0 ) and the x -axis as its axis of symmetry can be used to graph the parabola. If p > 0 , the parabola opens right. If p < 0 , the parabola opens left. See [link] .
  • The standard form of a parabola with vertex ( 0 , 0 ) and the y -axis as its axis of symmetry can be used to graph the parabola. If p > 0 , the parabola opens up. If p < 0 , the parabola opens down. See [link] .
  • When given the focus and directrix of a parabola, we can write its equation in standard form. See [link] .
  • The standard form of a parabola with vertex ( h , k ) and axis of symmetry parallel to the x -axis can be used to graph the parabola. If p > 0 , the parabola opens right. If p < 0 , the parabola opens left. See [link] .
  • The standard form of a parabola with vertex ( h , k ) and axis of symmetry parallel to the y -axis can be used to graph the parabola. If p > 0 , the parabola opens up. If p < 0 , the parabola opens down. See [link] .
  • Real-world situations can be modeled using the standard equations of parabolas. For instance, given the diameter and focus of a cross-section of a parabolic reflector, we can find an equation that models its sides. See [link] .

Section exercises

Verbal

Define a parabola in terms of its focus and directrix.

A parabola is the set of points in the plane that lie equidistant from a fixed point, the focus, and a fixed line, the directrix.

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If the equation of a parabola is written in standard form and p is positive and the directrix is a vertical line, then what can we conclude about its graph?

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If the equation of a parabola is written in standard form and p is negative and the directrix is a horizontal line, then what can we conclude about its graph?

The graph will open down.

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What is the effect on the graph of a parabola if its equation in standard form has increasing values of p ?

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As the graph of a parabola becomes wider, what will happen to the distance between the focus and directrix?

The distance between the focus and directrix will increase.

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Algebraic

For the following exercises, determine whether the given equation is a parabola. If so, rewrite the equation in standard form.

y = 4 x 2

yes y = 4 ( 1 ) x 2

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( y 3 ) 2 = 8 ( x 2 )

yes ( y 3 ) 2 = 4 ( 2 ) ( x 2 )

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y 2 + 12 x 6 y 51 = 0

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For the following exercises, rewrite the given equation in standard form, and then determine the vertex ( V ) , focus ( F ) , and directrix   ( d )   of the parabola.

x = 8 y 2

y 2 = 1 8 x , V : ( 0 , 0 ) ; F : ( 1 32 , 0 ) ; d : x = 1 32

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y = −4 x 2

x 2 = 1 4 y , V : ( 0 , 0 ) ; F : ( 0 , 1 16 ) ; d : y = 1 16

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x = 36 y 2

y 2 = 1 36 x , V : ( 0 , 0 ) ; F : ( 1 144 , 0 ) ; d : x = 1 144

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( x 1 ) 2 = 4 ( y 1 )

( x 1 ) 2 = 4 ( y 1 ) , V : ( 1 , 1 ) ; F : ( 1 , 2 ) ; d : y = 0

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( y 2 ) 2 = 4 5 ( x + 4 )

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( y 4 ) 2 = 2 ( x + 3 )

( y 4 ) 2 = 2 ( x + 3 ) , V : ( 3 , 4 ) ; F : ( 5 2 , 4 ) ; d : x = 7 2

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( x + 1 ) 2 = 2 ( y + 4 )

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( x + 4 ) 2 = 24 ( y + 1 )

( x + 4 ) 2 = 24 ( y + 1 ) , V : ( 4 , 1 ) ; F : ( 4 , 5 ) ; d : y = −7

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Questions & Answers

prove that cos(π/6-a)*cos(π/3+b)-sin(π/6-a)*sin(π/3+b)=sin(a-b)
Tejas Reply
why {2kπ} union {kπ}={kπ}?
Huy Reply
why is {2kπ} union {kπ}={kπ}? when k belong to integer
Huy
if 9 sin theta + 40 cos theta = 41,prove that:41 cos theta = 41
Trilochan Reply
what is complex numbers
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give me treganamentry question
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Solve 2cos x + 3sin x = 0.5
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Rightspect
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Give me algebra questions
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What does this mean
Michael Reply
cos(x+iy)=cos alpha+isinalpha prove that: sin⁴x=sin²alpha
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cos(x+iy)=cos aplha+i sinalpha prove that: sinh⁴y=sin²alpha
rajan
cos(x+iy)=cos aplha+i sinalpha prove that: sinh⁴y=sin²alpha
rajan
is there any case that you can have a polynomials with a degree of four?
victor
***sscc.edu/home/jdavidso/math/catalog/polynomials/fourth/fourth.html
Oliver
can you solve it step b step
Ching Reply
give me some important question in tregnamentry
Anshuman
what is linear equation with one unknown 2x+5=3
Joan Reply
-4
Joel
x=-4
Joel
x=-1
Joan
I was wrong. I didn't move all constants to the right of the equation.
Joel
x=-1
Cristian
Adityasuman x= - 1
Aditya
y=x+1
gary
what is the VA Ha D R X int Y int of f(x) =x²+4x+4/x+2 f(x) =x³-1/x-1
Shadow Reply
can I get help with this?
Wayne
Are they two separate problems or are the two functions a system?
Wilson
Also, is the first x squared in "x+4x+4"
Wilson
x^2+4x+4?
Wilson
thank you
Wilson
Please see ***imgur.com/a/lpTpDZk for solutions
Wilson
f(x)=x square-root 2 +2x+1 how to solve this value
Marjun Reply
factor or use quadratic formula
Wilson
what is algebra
Ige Reply
The product of two is 32. Find a function that represents the sum of their squares.
Paul
if theta =30degree so COS2 theta = 1- 10 square theta upon 1 + tan squared theta
Martin Reply
Practice Key Terms 4

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Source:  OpenStax, Algebra and trigonometry. OpenStax CNX. Nov 14, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11758/1.6
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