The Parabola Effect

The Verrazano Bridge 10/12/08

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In mathematics, a parabola is a plane curve that is mirror-symmetrical and is approximately U-shaped. It fits several superficially different other mathematical descriptions, which can all be proved to define exactly the same curves. One description of a parabola involves a point (the focus) and a line (the directrix). The focus does not lie on the directrix. The parabola is the locus of points in that plane that are equidistant from both the directrix and the focus. Another description of a parabola is as a conic section, created from the intersection of a right circular conical surface and a plane which is parallel to another plane that is tangential to the conical surface. Read more ...