From Andy White: I am working on a project concerning parabolic mirrors. I need to create a mirror to focus sunlight on a focal point, but I don't know how to do it. Is there some equation that tells where a focal point will be in relation to a parabola?

From Katherine Shaw: I have read your information on 'Why are satellite dishes parabolic", and I know the reciever should be placed at the focus of the parabola. Could you test this with lights beams and a parabolic mirror, or would light beams behave differently. Thanks. Answered by Jack LeSage and Harley Weston.

From Megan Wennberg: Consider a ray of light that passes through a chord of a parabola (the chord is above the focus and parallel to the directrix), hits the parabola at a point (x,y) and is reflected through the focus. If d1 is the distance from the chord to the point of incidence (x,y) and d2 is the distance from (x,y) to the focus, can you prove that the sum of the distances d1+d2 is constant, independent of the particular point of incidence. Answered by Penny Nom.

Page 1/1

Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.