Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Subject: Things that are shaped like a parabola
Name: carra
Who are you: Student

i can't find other examples of things that are shaped like a parabola except for bridges..............
Pls. help it is due tomorrow.
thank you very much:)

Carra, we have three responses to your question

Think about a lamp with the base of the shade horizontal, and a vertical wall which the beam of light hits. Figure out why this must be a parabola.

Also do a google search under 'parabolic reflectors', and 'conic sections' to find a number of applications related to the geometry of reflection in these shapes.

BTW, often bridges (hanging chains etc.) are not parabolic.


There is also a note in the Resource Room of Math Central titled Why are satellite dishes parabolic?


A few ideas...
The path of anything you throw is shaped like a parabola.
A satellite dish is parabolic.
The curve of a spotlight is parabolic.

Stephen La Rocque>

About Math Central


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.
Quandaries & Queries page Home page University of Regina PIMS