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The Midpoint Formula Sometimes you need to find the point that is exactly between two other points.

For instance, you might need to find a line that bisects (divides into equal halves) a given line segment. This middle point is called the "midpoint". The concept doesn't come up often, but the Formula is quite simple and obvious, so you should easily be able to remember it for later. Think about it this way: If you are given two numbers, you can find the number exactly between them by averaging them, by adding them together and dividing by two. For example, the number exactly halfway between 5 and 10 is [5 + 10]/2 = 15/2 = 7.5. The Midpoint Formula works exactly the same way. If you need to find the point that is exactly halfway between two given points, just average the x-values and the y-values.

Find the midpoint between (1, 2) and (3, 6). Apply the Midpoint Formula:

So the answer is P = (1, 2). Technically, the Midpoint Formula is the following:

But as long as you remember that you're averaging the two points' xand y-values, you'll do fine. It won't matter which point you pick to be the "first" point you plug in.

Find the midpoint between (6.4, 3) and (10.7, 4). Apply the Midpoint Formula:

So the answer is P = (2.15, 3.5)

Find the value of p so that (2, 2.5) is the midpoint between (p, 2) and (1, 3). I'll apply the Midpoint Formula: Rights Reserved Copyright 2000-2011 All

This reduces to needing to figure out what p is, in order to make the x-values work:

So the answer is p = 3.

Let's do some more examples.... Is y = 2x 4.9 a bisector of the line segment with endpoints at (1.8, 3.9) and (8.2, 1.1)? If I just graph this, it's going to look like the answer is "yes". But I have to remember that a picture can suggest an answer, it can give me an idea of what is going on, but only the algebracan

give me an exact answer. So I'll need to find the midpoint, and then see if the midpoint is actually a point on the given line. First, I'll apply the Midpoint Formula:

Now I'll check to see if this point is on the line: y = 2x 4.9 y = 2(3.2) 4.9 = 6.4 4.9 = 1.5 But I needed y to equal 1.4, so this line is close to being a bisector (as a picture would indicate), but it is not exactly a bisector (as the algebra proves). So the answer is "No, this is not a bisector."

Find the perpendicular bisector of the line segment with endpoints at (1.8, 3.9) and(8.2, 1.1). Copyright Elizabeth Stapel 2000-2011 All Rights Reserved

This is a multi-part problem, and is actually typical of problems you will probably encounter at some point when you're learning about straight lines. This is an example of a question where you'll be expected to remember the Midpoint Formula from however long ago you last saw it in class. Don't be surprised if you see this kind of question on a test! Here's how to answer it: First, I need to find the midpoint, since any bisector, perpendicular or otherwise, must pass through the midpoint. I'll apply the Midpoint Formula:

Now I need to find the slope of the line segment. I need this slope in order to find the perpendicular slope. I'll apply the Slope Formula:

The perpendicular slope (for my perpendicular bisector) is the negative reciprocal of the slope of the line segment. Remember that "negative reciprocal" means "flip it, and change the sign". Then the slope of the perpendicular bisector will be + 2/1 = 2. With the slope and a point (the midpoint, in this case), I can find the equation of the line: y 1.4 = 2(x 3.2) y 1.4 = 2x 6.4 y = 2x 6.4 + 1.4 y = 2x 5

Find the center of the circle with a diameter having endpoints at (4, 3) and (0, 2). Since the center is at the midpoint of any diameter, I need to find the midpoint of the two given endpoints: (
[4 + 0]

/2 ,

[3 + 2]

/2 ) = (

/2 , 5/2 ) = (2, 2.5)

These examples really are fairly typical. You will have some simple "plug-n-chug" problems when the concept is first introduced, and then later, out of the blue, they'll hit you with the concept again, except it will be buried in some other type of problem. I'm telling you this now, so you'll know to remember the Formula for later.

DIVISION OF A LINE SEGMENT Formula: Xk = x1 + r (x2 x1 ) Yk = Y1 + r (Y2 Y1)

Slope Formula Definition The slope m of the line through the points (x1, y1) and (x 2, y 2) is given by

Example Problem Find the slope of the line segment joining the points ( 1, - 4 ) and ( - 4, 2 ). Solution Label the points as x1 = 1, y1 = - 4, x2 = -4, and y2 = 2. To find the slope m of the line segment

joining the points, use the slope formula :

So, m = - 6/5. Question 1 Find the slope of the line passing through the points ( 2, - 5 ) and ( - 3, - 7). Solution Label the points as x1 = 1, y1 = - 4, x2 = -4, and y2 = 2. To find the slope m of the line segment joining the points, use the slope formula :

So, m = - 6/5. Question 1 Find the slope of the line passing through the points ( 2, - 5 ) and ( - 3, - 7). Solution Label the points as x1 = 2, y1 = - 5, x2 = - 3, and y2 = -7. To find the slope m of the line passing through the points ( 2, - 5 ) and ( - 3, - 7), use the slope formula :

So, m = 2/5. Question 2 Given the points A and B where A is at coordinates ( 0, 2 ) and B is at coordinates ( - 1, - 4), find the slope of the line passing through the points A and B.

Solution Label the points as x1 = 0, y1 = 2, x2 = -1, and y2 = -4. To find the slope m of the line passing through the points A and B,

use the slope formula : So, m = 6. Two Point Slope Form Definition: Two Point Slope Form is used to generate the Equation of a straight line passing through the two given points. Two Point Form Formula: Two Point form

where

(x1, y1) and (x2, y2)are the two given points,

Two Point form Diagram

Point slope form Example: Find the equation of the line joining the points (3, 6) and (2, -5). x1 = 3, y1 = 6, x2 = 2, y2 = -5 Substitute in the formula as :

-1(y - 6) = -11(x - 3) 1(y - 6) = 11(x - 3) y - 6 = 11x - 33 Equation = 11x - 33 - y + 6 Equation of the Line = 11x - y - 27 = 0 Intercept Form The intercept form of the line is the equation of the line segment based on the intercepts with both axes.

a is the x-intercept. b is the y-intercept. a and b must be nonzero.

The

values

of a and b can

be

obtained

from

the general form equation. If y = 0, x = a. If x = 0, y = b.

A line does not have an intercept form equation in the following cases: 1.A line parallel to the x-axis, which has the equation y = k. 2.A line parallel to the x-axis, which has the equation x = k. 3.A line that passes through the origin, which has equation y = mx.

Examples 1. A line has an x-intercept of 5 and a y-intercept of 3. Find its equation.

2.The line x y + 4 = 0 forms a triangle with the axes. Determine the area of the triangle. The line forms a right triangle with the origin and its legs are the axes. If y = 0 If x = 0 x = 4 = a. y = 2 = b.

The intercept form is:

The area is:

Point-Slope Form

The other format for straight-line equations is called the "point-slope" form. For this one, they give you a point (x1, y1) and a slope m, and have you plug it into this formula: y y1 = m(x x1) Don't let the subscripts scare you. They are just intended to indicate the point they give you. You have the generic "x" and generic "y" that are always in your equation, and then you have the specific x and yfrom the point they gave you; the specific x and y are what is subscripted in the formula. Here's how you use the pointslope formula:

Find the equation of the straight line that has slope m = 4 and passes through the point (1, 6). This is the same line that I found on the previous page, so I already know what the answer is (namely, y = 4x 2). But let's see how the process works with the point-slope formula. They've given me m = 4, x1 = 1, and y1 = 6. I'll plug these values into the point-slope form, and solve for "y=": y y y y y y1 = m(x x1) (6) = (4)(x (1)) + 6 = 4(x + 1) + 6 = 4x + 4 = 4x + 4 6

y = 4x 2 You can find the straight-line equation using the point-slope form if they just give you a couple points:

Find the equation of the line that passes through the points (2, 4) and (1, 2). I've already answered this one, but let's look at the process. I should get the same result (namely, y = ( 2/3 ) x + 8/3 ).

Given two points, I can always find the slope:

Then I can use either point as my (x1, y1), along with this slope Ive just calculated, and plug in to the point-slope form. Using ( 2, 4) as the (x1, y1), I get: y y y y y y y1 = m(x x1) (4) = ( 2/3 )(x (2)) 4 = ( 2/3 )(x + 2) 4 = ( 2/3 ) x 4/3 = ( 2/3 ) x 4/3 + 4 = ( 2/3 ) x 4/3 + 12/3

y = ( 2/3 ) x + 8/3 Slope-Intercept Form Straight-line equations, or "linear" equations, graph as straight lines, and have simple variableexpressions with no exponents on them. If you see an equation with only x and y as opposed to, say x2or sqrt(y) then you're dealing with a straight-line equation. There are different types of "standard" formats for straight lines; the particular "standard" format your book refers to may differ from that used in some other books. (There is, ironically, no standard definition of "standard form".) The various "standard" forms are often holdovers from a few centuries ago, when mathematicians couldn't handle very complicated equations, so they tended to obsess about the simple cases. Nowadays, you likely needn't worry too much about the "standard" forms; this lesson will only cover the more-helpful forms.

I think the most useful form of straight-line equations is the "slopeintercept" form: y = mx + b

This is called the slope-intercept form because "m" is the slope and "b" gives the y-intercept. (For a review of how this equation is used for graphing, look at slope and graphing.) I like slope-intercept form the best. It is in the form "y=", which makes it easiest to plug into, either for graphing or doing word problems. Just plug in your x-value; the equation is already solved for y. Also, this is the only format you can plug into your (nowadays obligatory) graphing calculator; you have to have a "y=" format to use a graphing utility. But the best part about the slopeintercept form is that you can read off the slope and the intercept right from the equation. This is great for graphing, and can be quite useful for word problems. Copyright Elizabeth Stapel 2000-2011 All Rights Reserved

Common exercises will give you some pieces of information about a line, and you will have to come up with the equation of the line. How do you do that? You plug in whatever they give you, and solve for whatever you need, like this:

Find the equation of the straight line that has slope m = 4 and passes through the point (1, 6). Okay, they've given me the value of the slope; in this case, m = 4. Also, in giving me a point on the line, they have given me an x-value and a y-value for this line: x = 1 and y = 6. In the slope-intercept form of a straight line, I have y, m, x, and b. So the only thing I don't have so far is a value for is b (which gives me the y-intercept). Then all I need to do is plug in what they gave me for the slope and the x and y from this particular point, and then solve for b: y = mx + b (6) = (4)(1) + b 6 = 4 + b 2 = b

Then the line equation must be "y = 4x 2". What if they don't give you the slope?

Find the equation of the line that passes through the points (2, 4) and (1, 2). Well, if I have two points on a straight line, I can always find the slope; that's what the slope formulais for.

Now I have the slope and two points. I know I can find the equation (by solving first for "b") if I have a point and the slope. So I need to pick one of the points (it doesn't matter which one), and use it to solve for b. Using the point (2, 4), I get: y = mx + b 4 = ( 2/3)(2) + b 4 = 4/3 + b 4 4/3 = b 12/3 4/3 = b b = 8/3 ...so y = ( 2/3 ) x + 8/3. On the other hand, if I use the point (1, 2), I get: y = mx + b 2 = ( 2/3)(1) + b 2 = 2/3 + b 2 + 2/3 = b 6 /3 + 2/3 = b b = 8/3 So it doesn't matter which point I choose. Either way, the answer is the same: y = ( 2/3)x + 8/3

III Circle A. Standard Form The Standard Form equation of a circle is a way to express the definition of a circle on the coordinate plane. A circle is the set of all points that are the same distance, r, from a fixed point.General Formula: X2 + Y2 =r2 where r is the radius