Explore Parabola on MathWorld

A parabola is a conic section with eccentricity equal to one. Parabolas appear as the graphs of quadratic equations and the trajectories of projectiles.

Parabola is a high school-level concept that would be first encountered in a pre-calculus course covering conic sections. It is listed in the California State Standards for Algebra I.


Conic Section: The conic sections are the classes of nondegenerate curves generated by the intersections of a plane with one or two nappes of a cone. A conic section can also be realized as the zero set of a quadratic equation in two variables.
Plane Curve: A plane curve is a curve that lies in a single plane. A plane curve may be closed or open.

Classroom Articles on Conic Sections

  • Ellipse
  • Locus
  • Hyperbola

  • Classroom Articles on Pre-Calculus (Up to High School Level)

  • Asymptote
  • Natural Logarithm
  • Complex Conjugate
  • Normal Vector
  • Complex Number
  • Parametric Equations
  • Complex Plane
  • Plane
  • Cross Product
  • Polar Coordinates
  • Curve
  • Range
  • Determinant
  • Rational Function
  • Domain
  • Reflection
  • Dot Product
  • Rotation
  • e
  • Rotation Matrix
  • Exponential Function
  • Scalar
  • Function
  • Spherical Coordinates
  • i
  • Tangent Line
  • Imaginary Number
  • Translation
  • Inverse Function
  • Vector
  • Logarithm