Conic Sections - The Parabola

a parabola on the (x, y) plane

On an (x, y) graph a parabola can have the shape to the left.

EZ GraphHere's a link to EZ Graph - Parabola. This is a graphic calculator that presents functions that draw parabolas.

a plane intersects a cone parallel to it's side forming a parabola

If a plane intersects the cone when it is slanted the same as the side of the cone, (formally, if a plane is parallel to the cone's slant height), then the conic section is a parabola. This is shown to the left.

Three Dimensional Virtual RealityThis link will take you to an interactive 3D virtual reality world showing the parabola as a conic section.

Here is a video that shows several possibilities for forming a parabola by intersecting a cone and a plane.

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