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Math Help - On what factor the width of Parabola depends?

  1. #1
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    Question On what factor the width of Parabola depends?

    On what factor(s) the width of Parabola y^2=4ax depends?
    By 'width', please see the image to understand what I mean:

    Consider these as the 3 parabolas, I know though they don't look like...
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  2. #2
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    I'm not entirely sure you've defined a parabola.
    By the conventional definition, a parabola occurs when y is equal to ax^2 + bx + c. You've got y^2=4ax, so the 'squared' is on the vertical axis variable and not the horizontal axis variable. This will give you a parabola lying on its side, and so your definitions of wide and narrow parabolas will also be a bit wonky.

    For the parabola
    y=ax^2+bx+c
    the 'width' you're referring to is governed by a, the coefficient of a. Moving a further from 0 will narrow, or tighten the parabola, and moving a closer to 0 will make it wider, or fatter, until a equals 0 and you've got a REALLY flat parabola (also known as a line).
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