# Straight Line Touches a Parabola

The condition for a line to be a tangent to the parabola is that and the tangent to the parabola is .

Consider that the standard equation of a parabola with vertex at origin can be written as

Also the equation of a line is represented by

To find the point of intersection of the parabola (i) and the given line (ii), using the method of solving simultaneous equations we solve equation (i) and equation (ii), in which one equation is in quadratic form and the other is in linear form. So we take the value of from equation (ii) and put this value in equation (i), i.e. the equation of the parabola becomes

Since equation (iii) is a quadratic equation in , we can solve this quadratic equation either by completing the square method or by using the quadratic formula. If equation (iii) has equal real roots, then the line (ii) will intersect the parabola (i) at one point only and thus is the tangent to the parabola..

Equation (iii) will have equal roots if

This is the condition for the line (ii) to be a tangent to the parabola (i). Putting this value of in equation (ii), we have

This is the tangent to the parabola.