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Definition/Summary

A parabola has many definitions, a classical one being, “A Parabola is the locus of all points equidistant from a given point (called the focus) and a line (called the directrix)”.

A parabola is a frequently encountered trajectory in kinematics and mechanical physics. Also, the plot of a Quadratic Equation in one variable is a parabola.

Glossary:

Vertex: There exists a point on the parabola, from where if a tangent to the parabola is drawn, the tangent is parallel to the directrix. This point is known as the ‘vertex’ of the parabola.

Latus Rectum: A chord of a parabola, which passes through the focus and is parallel to the directrix is known as the latus rectum of the parabola.

Axis: the line through the focus and the vertex, and therefore perpendicular to the directrix and the latus rectum. It is an axis of reflectional symmetry of the parabola and corresponds to the major axis of an ellipse.

Equations

The standard form of a parabola, with...

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