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Parabolic function

  1. Aug 21, 2011 #1
    how can the graph of the function y=ax^n be obtained from the graph of y=x^n if a is positive?negative
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 21, 2011 #2
    If you graph two functions, y=x^2 and y=5x^2 you will notice the first graph appears "fatter" and the second graph is "skinnier".
    As you increase the coefficient a the more narrow the graph becomes.
    As you decrease the coefficient a the wider the graph becomes.
    I would experiment with this concept until you notice a mathematical pattern by which you can predict the graph's appearance at any a.
  4. Aug 23, 2011 #3
    When a is negative, the graph is reflected about the x-axis. For example, the parabola y=-x^2 has the same shape as y=x^2, but is pointing down instead of up.
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