Parabolic Reflectors and Antennas

This applet helps you understand, interactively, why the parabolic shape is important and its use as a reflector. The parabolic reflector is widely used and it is important to understand its reflecting properties. For more mathematical details see the tutorial on How Parabolic Dish Antennas work?

A definition and construction of a parabola and a tutorial on the equation of a parabola are included in this site.



TUTORIAL

click on start and you will see rays homing onto the surface of a parabola. What do you notice after reflection on the inner surface of the parabola ?
All the incoming energy (light, radio waves,..) , in the form of rays parallel to the axis of the parabola, is focused at one point called the focus. Many applications of the parabolic shape can be found in parabolic dishes used to receive satellite TV programs.

Conversely, rays emanating from the focus of a parabolic reflector, are all reflected parallel to the axis of the parabola. Parabolic antennas are also used to emit radiowaves and light. Large parabolic shapes are also used to collect solar energy.

More references and links to topics related to the parabolic reflectors and antennas.

Tutorial on How Parabolic Dish Antennas work?

Tutorial on how to
Find The Focus of Parabolic Dish Antennas.

  • Dipole Antennas


  • Antenna Polarization


  • Antenna Arrays




  • Interactive tutorial on the
    Equation of a Parabola.

    Interactive tutorial on how to
    find the equation of a parabola.

    Define and
    Construct a Parabola.



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