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### Course: Algebra (all content) > Unit 9

Lesson 9: Features & forms of quadratic functions- Forms & features of quadratic functions
- Worked examples: Forms & features of quadratic functions
- Features of quadratic functions: strategy
- Vertex & axis of symmetry of a parabola
- Finding features of quadratic functions
- Warmup: Features of quadratic functions
- Features of quadratic functions
- Graph parabolas in all forms
- Comparing features of quadratic functions
- Comparing maximum points of quadratic functions
- Compare quadratic functions
- Graphing quadratics review

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# Forms & features of quadratic functions

Different forms of quadratic functions reveal different features of those functions. Here, Sal rewrites f(x)=x²-5x+6 in factored form to reveal its zeros and in vertex form to reveal its vertex. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

- The vertex from what I have understood from the video is the lowest point in a parabola. But what does the roots imply?(33 votes)
- The roots are the x-intercepts, where the parabola crosses the x-axis. If the parabola opens up and it's vertex is below the x-axis then it crosses the x-axis in two places and has two (real) roots. If the vertex is on the x-axis then the parabola has one root. If the vertex is above the x-axis (and the parabola opens up) then that parabola has no real roots... it still has roots, but they are complex numbers.(76 votes)

- Is there a difference between quadratic equation, quadratic, and quadratic function(22 votes)
- Good question!

The word`quadratic`

refers to the degree of a polynomial such as x² - 4x + 3

To be quadratic, the highest power of any term must be 2 (the x is squared). If there is`no equals sign`

, but it has a quadratic term, then it is a`quadratic expression`

.

x² - x - 5 is a`quadratic expression.`

So are the following:

a² + 8a - 6

g² - 16

If there**is**an equals sign, we call it a`quadratic equation`

.

An example is

x² - 4x + 3 = 0

Another example of`quadratic equation`

is

16t² - 8t = 3

and,

x = y²

and

1 + 4/5x - x² = 0

If we are defining how two variables are related, we can be talking about a`function`

. There are limits on what we can call a function, though, because there has to be one unique value for the dependent variable for any value of the independent variable in order to be a function.

y = x² - 8x + 15 is a`quadratic function`

that describes every point on a parabola

f(x) = x² - 4x + 3 is also a`quadratic function`

that describes every point on another parabola

The next`quadratic equation`

looks similar, but is**not**a quadratic function: it is not a function at all, in fact.

x = y² - 8y - 20

It describes a parabola that is lying on its side on a coordinate grid, but most values of x for this parabola that have any value at all will have two different values of y, so it cannot be a function. It would still be classified as a`quadratic equation`

(73 votes)

- Is there a easy trick for knowing if whether a parabola is a mininum or a maxinum?(14 votes)
- If you look at the first term before the parenthesis, there would be a number. If its negative, it has a maximum. If its positive, then it has a minimum.(32 votes)

- I obtained the vertex by solving the original equation over the average of the roots of x and got the same value - this is to say that I added the roots and divided by 2 then used the result as x. Is this a legitimate way to find the vertex for all cases? Does anyone know why this works?(15 votes)
- Yes, since a parabola is symmetric about the line of symmetry, you can find it by finding the mid point of the two zeros; however, unless you also need to find the roots for some other reason, it is certainly not the most efficient way to find the vertex.(13 votes)

- I have a quadratic equation that I cannot figure out.

y=-x^2-4x-3

I know the parabola points downward because a is a negative, but I cannot seem to find the axis of symmetry and the vertex. I have the y-intercept, -3.

I keep getting 2 for the axis and -7 for the vertex. None of these answers fit on the graph. Could someone explain this to me, please? Thank you.(5 votes)- Hi apandafamily. You are correct that the y-intercept is -3. However, the rest of your solution is incorrect so let's take a look at how to solve this. First, I like to factor out the negative sign so I can more easily find the roots and minimize errors in my calculation. Let's rewrite our equation.

y=-x²-4x-3 then becomes y=-(x²+4x+3). Now when we factor, this becomes

y=-(x+3)(x+1). Therefore, the roots are 0=-(x+1) so x=-1 and 0=-(x+3) so x=-3. Now take a look at the roots on a number line. The axis of symmetry will have to lie between -3 and -1 so it will be -2. If you substitute -2 into either the original equation or even our modified equation, y=-1*(x²+4x+3), you'll get y=-1*((-2)²+4*(-2)+3)=-1*(4-8+3)=-1*-1=1.

So in summary, the roots of the polynomial are x=-1 and x=-3 with the vertex at (-2,1).(15 votes)

- Is there a formula for finding the vertex of a parabola? Is there a video on that topic?(3 votes)
- Wrath,

Here is a video on finding the vertex of a parabola. https://www.khanacademy.org/math/algebra/quadratics/solving_graphing_quadratics/v/finding-the-vertex-of-a-parabola-example(7 votes)

- Cannot we get the vertex by taking the average of x intercepts? *like 3+2/2=5/2(same answer shown in the video 5/2)* and the minimum value by plugging in 5/2 to the equation ?which is also gonna give -1/4

i think we can 🤔(4 votes)- Yes, you're absolutely right that you can. Sometimes though, using complete the square would be faster. And it's good to know why we have vertex form(to know the vertex!)

Factored form: Best for x-intercepts

Vertex form: Best for vertex

Standard form & quadratic formula: Can work out y-intercept

Though you can absolutely work out everything just using one form, it's good to be versatile and choose the fastest or easiest way :)(7 votes)

- Why is y = f(x) and not x = f(x)?(2 votes)
- f(x) is read as f of x, and it means what is the value of the function at x, this is the y value, so y=f(x).(7 votes)

- Can someone explain to me what Sal just did? I'm so confused.(2 votes)
- Basically a quadratic function can be rewritten in various forms.

1. f(x) = ax² + bx + c

We can determine the sum and product of the roots of x easily.

Sum = -b / a

Product = c / a

2. f(x) = a(x - b)(x - c)

We can determine the roots of x easily.

x = b or x = c

3. f(x) = a(x - b)² + c

We can determine the vertex easily.

Vertex: (b, c)

TIP: You can determine the concavity by looking at the sign of a.(3 votes)

- Thanks for the help, but I am still confused as to why you used completing the square to achieve the minimum point/vertex? Also is this the same for finding the maximum value?(1 vote)
- Completing the square puts a quadratic into what is known as the vertex form, so you can read the vertex directly from the completed square.

Yes it would be the same for max value, it would just have a negative in front of the x^2 term. So if you started with f(x) = - x^2 + 5x - 6, you would get - (x-2)(x-3) for factoring and -( x - 5/2)^2 + 1/4, the vertex would be at (5/2,1/4) instead of the minimum of (5/2, - 1/4).(5 votes)

## Video transcript

I have a function here defined
as x squared minus 5x plus 6. And what I want
us to think about is what other forms we can
write this function in if we, say, wanted to find the
0s of this function. If we wanted to figure out where
does this function intersect the x-axis, what form
would we put this in? And then another form
for maybe finding out what's the minimum
value of this. We see that we have a positive
coefficient on the x squared term. This is going to be an
upward-opening parabola. But what's the
minimum point of this? Or even better, what's the
vertex of this parabola right over here? So if the function looks
something like this, we could use one
form of the function to figure out where does
it intersect the x-axis. So where does it
intersect the x-axis? And maybe we can manipulate
it to get another form to figure out what's
the minimum point. What's this point right
over here for this function? I don't even know if the
function looks like this. So I encourage you
to pause this video and try to manipulate this
into those two different forms. So let's work on it. So in order to find the
roots, the easiest thing I can think of doing
is trying to factor this quadratic
expression which is being used to define
this function. So we could think
about, well, let's think of two numbers whose
product is positive 6 and whose sum is negative 5. So since their
product is positive, we know that they
have the same sign. And if they have the same sign
but we get to a negative value, that means they both
must be negative. So let's see-- negative 2
times negative 3 is positive 6. Negative 2 plus negative
3 is negative 5. So we could rewrite f of x. And so let me write it this way. We could write f of
x as being equal to x minus 2 times x minus 3. Now, how does this help
us find the zeroes? Well, in what situations is
this right-hand expression, is this expression on the right
hand going to be equal to 0? Well, it's the product
of these two expressions. If either one of these is equal
to 0, 0 times anything is 0. 0 times anything else is 0. So this whole thing is going to
be 0 if x minus 2 is equal to 0 or x minus 3 is equal to 0. Add 2 to both sides
of this equation. You get x is equal to
2 or x is equal to 3. So those are the two
zeroes for this function, I guess you could say. And we could already
think about it a little bit in
terms of graphing it. So let's try to
graph this thing. So this is x equals 1. This is x equals 2. This is x equals 3
right over there. So that's our x-axis. That, you could say, is our
y is equal to f of x axis. And we're seeing that we
intersect both here and here. When x is equal to 2,
this f of x is equal to 0. When x is equal to 3,
f of x is equal to 0. And you could substitute
either of these values into the original expression. And you'll see it's
going to get you to 0 because that is
the same thing as that. Now, what about the vertex? What form could we write
this original thing in order to pick out the vertex? Well, we're already
a little familiar with completing the square. And when you complete the
square with this expression, that seems to be a pretty good
way of thinking about what the minimum value
of this function is. So let's just do
that right over here. So I'm just going to rewrite it. So we get f of x is equal
to x squared minus 5x. And I'm just going to throw
the plus 6 right over here. And I'm giving myself
some real estate because what I need to do, what
I want to think about doing, is adding and subtracting
the same value. So I'm going to add it here, and
I'm going to subtract it there. And I can do that because
then I've just added 0. I haven't changed the value
of this right-hand side. But I want to do that so that
this part that I've underlined in this magenta color, so that
this part right over here, is a perfect square. And we've done
this multiple times when we've completed the square. I encourage you to
watch those videos if you need a little
bit of a review on it. But the general idea
is this is going to be a perfect
square if we take this coefficient
right over here. We take negative 5. We take 1/2 of that, which is
negative 5/2, and we square it. So we could write this
as plus negative-- what's negative 5/2 squared? So I could write this--
negative 5/2 squared. Well, if we square
a negative number, it's just going
to be a positive. So it's going to be the
same thing as 5/2 squared. 5 squared is 25. 2 squared is 4. So this is going
to be plus 25/4. Now, once again, if we want
this equality to be true, we either have to add the
same thing to both sides. Or if we're just
operating on one side, if we added it to that
side, we could just subtract it from that side. And we haven't changed the
total value on that side. So we added 25/4, and
we subtracted 25/4. So what is this part
right over here? What does this become,
the part that I've underlined in magenta? Well, this is going to
be-- the whole reason why we engineered it in
this way is so that this could be x minus 5/2 squared. And I encourage
you to verify this. And we go into more
detail about why taking 1/2 the coefficient here
and then squaring it, adding it there and then subtracting
there, why that works. We do that in the completing
the square videos. But these two things,
you can verify that they are equivalent. So that's that part. And now we just have to
simplify 6 minus 25/4. So 6 could be rewritten as 24/4. 24/4 minus 25/4 is negative 1/4,
so minus 1/4, just like that. So we've rewritten
our original function as f of x is equal to x
minus 5/2 squared minus 1/4. Now, why is this
form interesting? Well, one way to think
about it is this part is always going to
be non-negative. The minimum value of this part
in magenta is going to be 0. Why? Because we're
squaring this thing. If you're taking
something like this-- and we're just dealing
with real numbers-- and you're squaring
it, you're not going to be able to
get a negative value. At the minimum value,
this is going to be 0. And then it obviously could
be positive values, as well. So if we want to think about
when does this thing hit its minimum value-- well,
it hits its minimum value when you're squaring 0. And when are you squaring 0? Well, you're squaring 0 when
x minus 5/2 is equal to 0, or when x is equal
to 5/2 if you just want to add 5/2 to both
sides of that equation. So this thing hits its minimum
value when x is equal to 5/2. And then what is y, or what is
f of x, when x is equal to 5/2? f of 5/2-- and once again, you
could use any of those forms to evaluate 5/2. But it's really
easy in this form. When x is equal to 5/2, this
term right over here becomes 0. 0 squared, 0. You're just left
with negative 1/4. So another way to think
about it is our vertex is at the point x equals
5/2, y equals negative 1/4. So x equals 5/2. That's the same
thing as 2 and 1/2. So x equals 5/2. And y is equal to negative 1/4. So if that is negative 1, 1/4
would be something like that. So that right over
there is the vertex. That is the point--
let me make it clear-- that's the point 5/2
comma negative 1/4. And what's cool is we've
just used this form to figure out the minimum
point, to figure out the vertex in this case. And then we can use the
roots as two other points to get a rough sketch of what
this parabola will actually look like. So the interesting-- or I guess
the takeaway from this video is just to realize that we can
rewrite this in different forms depending on what we're
trying to understand about this function.