Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Deriving the Equation of the Parabola

Instructions: Move point A to adjust the position of the vertical line and move F along the x-axis as desired. Move C along the line and observe what happens.
This is a Java Applet created using GeoGebra from - it looks like you don't have Java installed, please go to

1. What can you say about line a in relation to C and F?
2. Make a conjecture about segments PC and PF.
3.) Suppose P has coordinates (x,y), F has coordinates (2,0), and line d has equation x = 2, write the equation that would describe your conjecture in 2.
4.) Generalize the equation in 3 by changing the coordinates of F to (a,0) and line d has equation x = -d. Find the value of y.

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