Can you give me some parabolic shapes?
If you go to the Quandaries and Queries section of Math Central and search in the keyword field for the word parabola you will find some examples. In particular the note "Why are satellite dishes parabolic?" explains why the satellite dishes used to gather TV signals are parabolic in shape. For another example take the top off an overhead projector and you will find a light bulb with a rerflecting mirror behind it. This mirror has a parabolic shape. The reflecting mirror behind the headlight in a car is parabolic also.
I hope this helps
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