This is more of an mathematics application question than anything, but. Let's say I'm building a satellite or some sort of focusing device. I obviously need a parabola. If I have an object that resembles a parabola—for example, a pot of some sort—how can I determine that's it's in reality a parabola, and not just a random shape? Also, what would I need to do to find the area inside of that pot? Thanks.