Students model the locus of points at equal distance between a point (focus) and a line (directrix). They construct a parabola and understand this geometric definition of the curve. They use algebraic techniques to derive the analytic equation of the parabola.
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Parabolas When working with parabolas in the past you probably used vertex form and analyzed the graph by finding its roots and intercepts. There is another way of defining a parabola that turns out to be more useful in the real world. One of the many uses of parabolic shapes in the real world is satellite dishes. In these shapes it is vital to know where the receptor point should be placed so that it can absorb all the signals being reflected from the dish.
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