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Equation defining a parabola?

  1. Jul 5, 2009 #1
    I read a Wikipedia article titled "Parabola" that listed an equation of the form:

    Ax2 + Bxy + Cy2 + Dx + Ey + F = 0

    How is this derived? or where did it come from?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 5, 2009 #2


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    Gold Member

    This probably should be under the General Math section of the forums. The equation that you posted is the general quadratic equation and depending of the values of A, B, and C it can either produce parabolas, ellipses, circles, or hyperbolas (excepting a few degenerate cases). If it is a parabola then B2 = 4(A)(C).
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