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# What are some real-life examples of parabolas?

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When a pitcher throws a baseball, it follows a parabolic path, providing a real life example of the graph of a quadratic equation. The parabolic function predicts if the ball arrives in the batting range for the particular hitter and the time between it leaving the pitcher's hand and crossing the plate. There are many real life examples of such shapes ranging from video games to engineering.

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Credit: Paul L. Dineen CC-BY-2.0

Projectile motion is the name of the parabolic function used for objects such as baseballs, arrows, bullets and missiles. It predicts the path of any object with both a horizontal force and a vertical force due to gravity, according to Math is Fun.

Financial experts use parabolas to maximize profits. These functions compare the number of items sold with the price of each, allowing the retailer to know the ideal price to set.

The cables and arches that support bridges often follow the shape of a parabola. This allows the engineer to maximize the weight supported while minimizing the materials the bridge requires for construction.

Parabolic reflectors are useful in designing microphones and satellite dish receivers. These reflectors concentrate the wavelengths on a single point to maximize reception. If the reflector is a mirror and the energy it concentrates is sunlight, the reflector becomes a solar cooker, able to boil water without other power.

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## Related Questions

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The Flatiron Building in New York City is an example of a triangular prism in real-life. This building is a well-known landmark that defines the skyline of Manhattan and was originally built as the headquarters of the Fuller Construction Company, nicknamed the Fuller Building. It was later nicknamed "Burnham's Folly" because people thought that Daniel Burnham's triangular design could not withstand strong winds. However, the building was a success.

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According to Math Is Fun, real-world examples of the quadratic equation in use can be found in a variety of situations, from throwing a ball to riding a bike. In each example, the predictive qualities of the quadratic equation can be used to assess an outcome.

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A kite is a real life example of a rhombus shape. However, while a kite has a rhombus shape, it is not a rhombus.