Quadratic functions have a number of applications. When Isaac Newton saw the apple fall in his orchard, he realized that an item in free fall could be used to measure gravity. His experiments showed that the height of an object in free fall, the path of a cannon ball, or the path of a ball thrown by a person can be modeled with quadratic functions. Police can use the length of skid marks on a road and the weather conditions to determine the speed at which a car was traveling when the brakes were applied.

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