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Math Help - Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)

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    Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)

    Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)
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    Re: Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)

    We want to minimize the distance D between (x, x^2+3) and (1,5). We know that


    D = \sqrt{(x-1)^2 + (x^2 + 3 - 5)^2} = \sqrt{2x^2 - 6x + 5}


    To make things easier, D^2 = 2x^2 - 6x + 5 . To find the x that minimizes D, you may as well find the x that minimizes D^2. So find the (x,y) coordinate that minimizes D^2.
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    Re: Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roleparadise View Post
    Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)
    Let required point be (x,y) Let D= distance from (1,5) So D^2=(x-1)^2+(y-5)^2 But (x,y) is on curve so y=x^2+3 giving D^2=(x-1)^2+(x^2-2)^2
    Want D^2 to be minimum (then D will be minimum) So want derivative=0
    Hence want 2(x-1)+2(x^2-2)2x=0 2x-2+4x^3-8x=0 4x^3-6x-2=0 Using a numerical change of sign method I get x=1,366 so y=4.866
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    Re: Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)

    I dont agree with your expression for D
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    Re: Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)

    Whoops, I did (x-2)^2 instead of (x^2-2)^2...

    Anyway, D^2 = (x-1)^2 + (x^2 - 2)^2 = x^4 - 3x^2 - 2x + 5. Take derivative with respect to x and set to zero:

    4x^3 - 6x - 2 = 0.

    There are three real solutions for x: x = -1, -.366, and 1.366. Check each (x,y) point to see which one is closest.
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    Re: Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)

    Quote Originally Posted by Roleparadise View Post
    Find the point on the parabola y = x^2 + 3 that is closest to the point (1,5)
    Here is an entirely different way to solve it
    Find a point (a,b) on the curve where the tangent is perpendicular to the normal through (1,5).

    Thus solve \frac{b-5}{a-1}=\frac{-1}{2a}~\&~b=a^2+3.
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