## Parabola

### A parabola is a U-shaped curve that is a conic section defined by a quadratic equation

A parabola is a U-shaped curve that is a conic section defined by a quadratic equation. It is formed by the graph of a quadratic function, which is a polynomial of degree two. The general form of a quadratic equation representing a parabola is given by:

y = ax^2 + bx + c

where “a”, “b”, and “c” are constants. The value of “a” determines whether the parabola opens upwards (if “a” is positive) or downwards (if “a” is negative). The vertex of the parabola is the point at the minimum or maximum value of the function, and its axis of symmetry is a vertical line passing through the vertex.

There are three main types of parabolas based on their orientation:

1. Vertical Parabola: This is the most common type where the vertex of the parabola lies either at the minimum or maximum point on the y-axis. The equation for a vertical parabola is of the form y = ax^2 + bx + c.

2. Horizontal Parabola: In this case, the vertex of the parabola lies either at the minimum or maximum point on the x-axis. The equation for a horizontal parabola is of the form x = ay^2 + by + c.

3. Degenerate Parabola: This is a special case where the parabola becomes a straight line. It occurs when the quadratic equation is reduced to a linear equation with no squared term, usually represented as y = mx + b or x = my + b (where “m” and “b” are constants).

Parabolas have several important properties and applications in mathematics and physics. They are widely used in modeling various phenomena and are commonly found in areas such as optics, projectile motion, structural design, and astronomy.

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