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

1. ## 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...

2. 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).