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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

sinx sin2x is linearly dependent
cr Reply
what is a reciprocal
Ajibola Reply
The reciprocal of a number is 1 divided by a number. eg the reciprocal of 10 is 1/10 which is 0.1
Shemmy
 Reciprocal is a pair of numbers that, when multiplied together, equal to 1. Example; the reciprocal of 3 is ⅓, because 3 multiplied by ⅓ is equal to 1
Jeza
each term in a sequence below is five times the previous term what is the eighth term in the sequence
Funmilola Reply
I don't understand how radicals works pls
Kenny Reply
How look for the general solution of a trig function
collins Reply
stock therom F=(x2+y2) i-2xy J jaha x=a y=o y=b
Saurabh Reply
sinx sin2x is linearly dependent
cr
root under 3-root under 2 by 5 y square
Himanshu Reply
The sum of the first n terms of a certain series is 2^n-1, Show that , this series is Geometric and Find the formula of the n^th
amani Reply
cosA\1+sinA=secA-tanA
Aasik Reply
Wrong question
Saad
why two x + seven is equal to nineteen.
Kingsley Reply
The numbers cannot be combined with the x
Othman
2x + 7 =19
humberto
2x +7=19. 2x=19 - 7 2x=12 x=6
Yvonne
because x is 6
SAIDI
what is the best practice that will address the issue on this topic? anyone who can help me. i'm working on my action research.
Melanie Reply
simplify each radical by removing as many factors as possible (a) √75
Jason Reply
how is infinity bidder from undefined?
Karl Reply
what is the value of x in 4x-2+3
Vishal Reply
give the complete question
Shanky
4x=3-2 4x=1 x=1+4 x=5 5x
Olaiya
hi can you give another equation I'd like to solve it
Daniel
what is the value of x in 4x-2+3
Olaiya
if 4x-2+3 = 0 then 4x = 2-3 4x = -1 x = -(1÷4) is the answer.
Jacob
4x-2+3 4x=-3+2 4×=-1 4×/4=-1/4
LUTHO
then x=-1/4
LUTHO
4x-2+3 4x=-3+2 4x=-1 4x÷4=-1÷4 x=-1÷4
LUTHO
A research student is working with a culture of bacteria that doubles in size every twenty minutes. The initial population count was  1350  bacteria. Rounding to five significant digits, write an exponential equation representing this situation. To the nearest whole number, what is the population size after  3  hours?
David Reply
f(x)= 1350. 2^(t/20); where t is in hours.
Merkeb
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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