Assignment 6

Constructing a Parabola

by Debra Jackson

A parabola is the set of points equidistant from a line, called the directrix, and a fixed point,called the focus. Assume the focus is not on the line. A parabola can also be described as the figure formed from the intersection of a cone and a plane.

In this assignment we are asked to construct a parabola given a fixed point for the focus and a line (segment) for the directrix.

a. Use an Action Button to generate the parabola from an animation and trace of a constructed point.

To see and try out click here.

b. Repeat 9a with a trace of the tangent line at the constructed point.

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c. Use the locus command to generate the parabola from a constructed point or the tangent line at that point.

To see and try out click here.

In conclusion, this assignment helped me better understand the concept of locus and, in particular, as it pertains to parabolas.