Revision notes on linear graphs.The equation of a straight line(y=mx+c) explained,with common problems.The equations of parallel & perpendicular lines explored.

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Revision notes on linear graphs.The equation of a straight line(y=mx+c) explained,with common problems.The equations of parallel & perpendicular lines explored.

Attribution Non-Commercial (BY-NC)

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The equation of a straight line - This is given the form y=mx+c, where 'm' is the

gradient of the graph and 'c' is the intercept on the y-axis(i.e. when x=0).

The gradient(m)of a line is the ratio of the 'y-step' to the 'x-step' from a consideration of

two points on the line.

The intercept - c is the value of y when x=0. The other intercept(the value of x when

y=0) is not used directly.

Since the equation of a straight line is y=mx+c, just looking at the equation is enough to

give the gradient and the intercept on the y-axis. m is the number infront of the x. c is the

number after the x term.

Algebra Linear Graphs topic notes

y=x-3 +1 -3

y = -3x + 4 -3 +4

y = 0.5x - 5 +0.5 -5

y+x=1 -1 +1

x-y=2 +1 -2

Example #2 Write down the equation of the straight line that goes through the points (2,1)

and (5,7).

Algebra Linear Graphs topic notes

All lines with the same gradient are parallel. However, remember in each case the

intercept with the x and y axis will be different.

When two straight lines intersect at 90 degrees to eachother(i.e. are perpendicular), the

product of their gradients is -1

1 -1

-2 0.5

3 -0.333

-4 0.25

5 -0.2

Algebra Linear Graphs topic notes

The line between the two points is the hypotenuse of a right angled triangle. Draw

horizontal and vertical lines from the points. Work out the lengths of the adjacent sides as

you would to calculate gradient. Then use Pythagoras to calculate the hypotenuse.

Example Find the length of the line joining the points (1,2) and (3,5).

The mid-point of a line - This is simply the average of the x-coordinate and the average of

the y-coordinate.

Example - if we take the two points from the last example, (1,2) (3,5), the mid point is:

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