Ideas in Geometry/Instructive examples/Lesson 4: Algebraic Geometry

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The equation of a line is L(x)=mx+b, where m is the slope and b is the y-intercept.

The equation of a parabola is P(x)=ax^2+bx+c.

A line that is tangent to a parabola goes through the parabola at exactly one point.

To find P(x)=L(x), we can set P(x)-L(x)=0.
This equation will have 2 roots because the answer will be a quadratic since a quadratic minus a line equals a quadratic of some sort. THESE ROOTS MUST BE THE SAME, so P(x)-L(x)=(x-c)^2.

Example 1: Find the line tangent to y=x^2-3x+1 at the point x=3.

Solution 1:





Example 2: Find the line tangent to y=x^3-3x^2+4x-1 at the point x=0.

Solution 2: