Reflection in a Parabolic Mirror

Initializing live version
Download to Desktop

Requires a Wolfram Notebook System

Interact on desktop, mobile and cloud with the free Wolfram Player or other Wolfram Language products.

This Demonstration shows three rays from a point reflected in a parabolic mirror. These rays do not meet in a common point to form an image.


The equation of the parabola with focus at is given by .

The first ray (light blue) is parallel to the optical axis.

The second ray (yellow) is reflected at the vertex of the parabola.

The third ray (red) goes from through the focus and is reflected back parallel to the optical axis.


Contributed by: Izidor Hafner (September 2017)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA



Feedback (field required)
Email (field required) Name
Occupation Organization
Note: Your message & contact information may be shared with the author of any specific Demonstration for which you give feedback.