1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Determining a parabola

  1. Jan 5, 2008 #1
    If given two arbitrary points on a parabola, is there anyway to determine an explicit equation for that parabola. I know there are multiple possible parabolas, but how can I find just one of them?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 5, 2008 #2

    rock.freak667

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    the general form of a parabola is [itex]y=ax^2 +bx+c[/itex]

    so given two points on the parabola, that would be insufficient to find a,b and c. If there is something else given about those 2 points then you may be able to find it.
     
  4. Jan 5, 2008 #3

    Gib Z

    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    If given two points, and you want the family of parabolas to go through them, just substitute those points into the general form of a parabola and you should get some simultaneous equations. You won't able able to get unique solutions for them, as you know, because there are many parabolas that go through those 2 points. If you want just any, choose any solution to the equations.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Determining a parabola
  1. Is this parabola? (Replies: 7)

  2. Equation of a parabola (Replies: 1)

  3. Rotation of Parabolas (Replies: 5)

  4. Equation of a parabola (Replies: 5)

Loading...