Construct a Parabola Using Circles

drawing a parabola using circles

Here is a novel way to construct a parabola.



  1. Cut out the circles from the pattern.
  2. Tape a piece of paper onto cardboard.
  3. Draw a horizontal line near the bottom of the page.
  4. Push a pushpin into the paper at a point above the center of the line and slightly lower than the diameter of the smallest circle.
  5. Place a circle onto the paper so that it simultaneously touches the pushpin and the line.
  6. Poke a hole at the center of the circle. Repeat with the circle on the other side of the pushpin.
  7. Repeat for each circle.
  8. Connect the pinpricks to form a parabola.