# Lines and Planes 1. x(t) = at + b y(t) = ct + d

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1 1 Lines in the Plane Lines and Planes 1 Ever line of points L in R 2 can be epressed as the solution set for an equation of the form A + B = C. The equation is not unique for if we multipl both sides b an nonzero number the solution set is unchanged. An line L can also be epressed b a pair of parametric equations of the form: (t) = at + b (t) = ct + d These can be rewritten in vector form:, = a, c t + b, d. The vectors a, c and b, d have a nice geometric/phsical interpretation. Regard t as time. Let p(t) = (t), (t) and call it the position vector. One can imagine a particle moving along L in accordance with the given parametric equations. Then p(0) = b, d is the initial position. Notice, dp dt = (t), (t) = a, c Thus, we call v = a, c the velocit vector. It is parallel to L. It is customar to place its base point on L. See Figure 1(left side). We now give a geometric interpretation for the ABC form of an equation of a line. First, suppose C = 0; this just means the line L goes through the origin. Let n = A, B, and again set p =,. Then we have n p = 0. That is the vectors n and p are at right angles to each other. Thus, the line L for A+B = 0 is the set of all points (, ) such that, is perpendicular to A, B. Now we consider the general case: A + B = C. Pick some particular point on the line and call it ( 0, 0 ). Then C = A 0 + B 0. Therefore, for 1 c Michael C. Sullivan, June 14,

2 an point (, ) on L we have A + B = A 0 + B 0. We can rewrite this as A A 0 + B B 0 = 0 A( 0 ) + B( 0 ) = 0 A, B 0, 0 = 0 n (, 0, 0 ) = 0 n (p p 0 ) = 0 In the last line we have let p 0 = 0, 0. The vector p p 0 can be thought of as ling in L with its tail at ( 0, 0 ) and its head at (, ). Thus, L is the unique line perpendicular to the vector n = A, B that passes through ( 0, 0 ). See Figure 1(right side). The vector n is called a normal vector for the line L. Given a vector to use as normal vector and a point we can easil find an equation for the corresponding line. t = 0 v t = 1 t = 2 n p 0 Figure 1: Left: A parametric line. Right: Normal vector to a line. Problem 1. Consider the line determined b (t) = 3t 2 and (t) = t+7. Find an equation for the line in ABC form. Problem 2. Consider the line determined b 4 7 = 2. Find a pair of parametric equations for this line. Note: Both of these problems have man correct answers. 2

3 2 Lines and Planes in 3-space The three dimensional set R 3 is the set of all triples (,, z) where,, and z are real numbers. Such a triple is called the z-coordinates of a point. These are also called rectilinear coordinates. The set {(, 0, 0) R} is the -ais. The and z aes are defined similarl. The are clearl lines. The set {(,, 0) R, R} is the -plane. The z and z planes are defined similarl. Visualizing structures in three dimensions takes practice. z (2, 5, 4) Figure 2: Three dimensional space: R 3 An line L in R 3 can epressed parametricall in the form: (t) = at + b (t) = ct + d z(t) = et + f or, in vector form,,, z = a, c, e t + b, d, f. As with lines in R 2 it is useful to think of a, c, e as a velocit vector and b, d, f as the position at t = 0. However, there is no wa to epress a line in R 3 as a single equation in three variables. In fact, we will show that tpicall solution sets of equations of the form A + B + Cz = D are planes and that ever plane in R 3 is the solution set of some equation in this form. Note: If A = B = C = D = 0, the solution set is all of R 3 ; if A = B = C = 0 but D 0 the solution set is empt. 3

4 Eample 1. Convince ourself of the following: If A = B = D = 0 and C 0 then A + B + Cz = D is the -plane. If A = C = D = 0 and B 0 then A + B + Cz = D is the z-plane. If B = C = D = 0 and A 0 then A + B + Cz = D is the z-plane. Let s consider the case where D = 0. Let n = A, B, C and p =,, z. Then the equation A + B + Cz = 0 becomes n p = 0. Thus, the solution set is the plane P, passing through the origin of R 3 whose points, when regarded as vectors, are perpendicular to n. We return to the general case: A+B+Cz = D. Let p 0 = 0, 0, z 0 be some fied point that satisfies the given equation. We leave it to the reader to show that n (p p 0 ) = 0. Thus, the solution set of A + B + Cz = D is the unique plane passing through p 0 and perpendicular to n = A, B, C. Eample 2. Consider + + z = 1. The points (1, 0, 0), (0, 1, 0), and (0, 0, 1) satisf the equation. We can connect them with line segments and visualize the triangle thus formed. This triangle sits in the plane. If we place the tail of n = 1, 1, 1 at an point of the triangle it is eas to see that it is perpendicular to the plane. Eample 3. Let P 1 be the plane given b z = 5 and let P 2 be the plane given b + + z = 1. Find parametric equations for the line L = P 1 P 2. Solution z = z = 1 } = 3z = 2. Let z = t. Then = 3t + 2. Also, = 1 z = 4t 1. We rewrite these as,, z = 4, 3, 1 t + 1, 2, 0. Eample 4. Find an equation for the plane passing through the three points (1, 1, 1), (1, 2, 3), and (2, 1, 0). 4

5 Solution. We have three conditions and these give us three equations in four unknowns. A + B + C = D A + 2B + 3C = D = 2A B = D A + B + C = D B + 2C = 0 3B 2C = D A + B + C = D B + 2C = 0 C = D/4 A + B = 5D/4 B = D/2 C = D/4 = = A = 3D/4 = B = D/2 C = D/4 An nonzero value of D will do. Let D = 4. Then z = 4 is an equation for our plane. Problem 1. Consider the three points (1, 1, 1), (2, 0, 2), and (4, 1, 4). Show that the do not determine a unique plane because the lie on the same line. Find an equation for this line; write it in vector form. Problem 2. Let P be the plane given b + 2 3z = 1. Let L be the intersection of P with the -plane. Define L z and L z similarl. Find equations for these three lines in ABC form. Problem 3. Graph, separatel, each of the planes determined b these three equations: z = 1, z = 1, and 3 2 2z = 7. Problem 4. Find the point of intersection of the three planes determined b these three equations: 2+2 3z = 1, +2+4z = 1, and 3 2 2z = 7. Problem 5. Show that the two planes determined b z = 1 and z = 0 do not intersect and are thus parallel. Problem 6. Let P be the plane given b z = 1. Let L be the line given b,, z = 1, 1, 1 t + 1, 0, 1. Find the point where the meet. Problem 7. Show that these four points lie in the same plane: (1, 1, 1), ( 1, 0, 0), ( 1, 1, 1 ), and (1, 1, 0). Find an equation for this plane. 2 5

6 3 Parametric Equation for a Plane There is another form for equations of planes in R 3 that is the analog of the parametric form for equations of a line. The difference is we will need two parameters, r and s, instead of one. Of course, the time metaphor is no longer useful. Let P be a plane given b A+B +Cz = D. Assume that C 0. Then we can solve for z and get z = D/C A/C B/C. (If C = 0 solve for or instead.) Think of z as the height above the -plane. Now let = r and = s, and think of r and s as free parameters. We can now write,, z = r, s, D/C A/Cr B/Cs = 0, 0, D/C + r 1, 0, A/C + s 0, 1, B/C This equation is far from unique. We can start with an point ( 0, 0, z 0 ) P, regard it as a vector p 0 = 0, 0, z 0 and add multiplies of 1, 0, A/C and 0, 1, B/C to it and sta in the plane. Furthermore, if we let v 1 and v 2 be nonzero multiplies of 1, 0, A/C and 0, 1, B/C, respectivel then p = p 0 + rv 1 + sv 2 gives the same plane P. Indeed, we could use an pair of vectors in P with tails at p 0 as long as the point in different directions. We will use this formulation to place a coordinate sstem on P. Take a point ( 0, 0, z 0 ) on P and call it the origin of P. Then an point on P can be gotten to b adding multiplies of v 1 and v 2 to p 0. Thus, for an point on P we can think of it as having coordinates (r, s). See Figure 3. Eample 1. Define a plane P b,, z = 1, 2, 3 + r 1, 1, 0 + s 0, 1, 1 Show that the point (0,2,4) is on P and find its rs-coordinates. Solution. We have three equations and two unknowns. 0 = 1 + 1r + 0s 2 = 2 + 1r + 1s 4 = 3 + 0r + 1s = r = 1 s = 1 Thus, (0, 2, 4) P and it has rs-coordinates ( 1, 1) relative to the given parametric equation. 6

7 z s r Figure 3: Coordinates for a plane: The dark lines are the r and s-aes Problem 1. Using the same plane P in Eample 1, find the rs-coordinates of (3, 3, 2). Problem 2. Show that the point (1, 2, 1) is not on the plane P of Eample 1. Problem 3 (Hard). The equation 2r + 3s = 1 determines a line L in the plane P of Eample 1, using rs-coordinates. Find a parametric equation for L in z-coordinates. 7

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