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Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Parabolas

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From: Loyd <loydlin@aol,com>
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2001072318:21:07
Subject: Re: Parabolas

Parabolas are used as flashlight reflectors, radar antennas, headlight
reflectors.  In a parabola you place the radar or microwave antenna or
the light bulb at the focal point and all the light that leaves the
focal point is reflected so that all the rays are parallel to each
other.  Thus you have a beam of light.  Sometimes antennas and
reflectors are a spherical section, but when the section is small in
relation to the sphere, it will approximate a parabola.  Most Algebra
II books have a section on conic sections and this includes parabolas.

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