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You are on page 1of 65

Straight Lines

CONCEPT NOTES

NOTES

01. Introduction

LOCUS 2

Straight Lines

Section - 1 INTRODUCTION

Co-ordinate geometry is a marriage of pure geometry and algebra, and is indispensable in all branches of science

today. Many of you must be pretty familiar with the general outline of this subject.

We will restrict ourselves to 2-dimensional (plane) co-ordinate geometry in the following pages. Later on, we will

also get the chance of studying 3-dimensional co-ordinate geometry.

The basic idea in co-ordinate geometry, as has been mentioned earlier, is to study the properties of geometrical

figures such as straight lines, circles, parabolas etc through the use of numbers. The core concept is that on a

2-dimensional (Euclidean) plane, any point can be represented by a pair of real numbers, using two non-parallel

straight lines. The point where these two non-parallel reference lines meet is termed the origin of the reference axis.

By convention, one axis is called the x-axis and one the y-axis. Any point on the plane can now be determined in

reference to this reference axes as described in the figure below:

y-axis

P x-axis and y units along the y-axis,

and therefore, P can be represented as

(x, y). Note that x, y ε R

x is called the abscissa of P while y is

y the ordinate of P. x and y together are

called the co-ordinates of P.

(origin) O

x x-axis

Fig - 1

Conversely, given the co-ordinates x and y of a point P, we can easily determine its location by moving x units

along the x-axis and then y-units parallel to the y-axis.

Notice that as long as the two axes are non-parallel, the entire plane is representable using these two axes as

reference. These two axes in general can be at any non-zero angle to each other.

LOCUS 3

However, it is almost always the case (out of convenience) that the two axis are taken at right angles to each other.

Such axes are called Rectangular Axes. We will always be using Rectangular Axes in our discussion from now

onwards.

With this introduction, we start with the most elementary of geometric figures: line segments and lines (and other

geometric figures obtainable from these elementary ones, like polygons).

For a good command over co-ordinate geometry, a lot of results will be required to be memorised since they are

encountered so often. For this purpose, each new theorem or result or property that we will encounter in the

following pages is discussed in a separate article for ease of reference later.

One of the most basic expressions in co-ordinate geometry is that of the distance between two arbitrary

points P1 ( x1 , y1 ) and P2 ( x2 , y2 ) . To obtain the required distance in terms of the co-ordinates of these

points, the Pythagoras theorem is employed as described in the figure below:

y

P2(x2 ,y2 )

d Note that:

(i) OC = x1 ; OB = x2

P1 ⇒ BC = AP1 = x2 – x1

A

(x1 ,y1)

(ii) CP1 = y1 ; BP2 = y2

⇒ AP2 = y2 – y1

x

O C B

Fig - 2

As explained in the figure, the distances AP1 and AP2 have been obtained. Thus, by the Pythagoras

theorem, the distance d is AP12 + AP22 or

d= ( x2 − x1 ) + ( y2 − y1 )

2 2

As a direct consequence of this formula, the distance of an arbitrary point P(x, y) from the origin is

x 2 + y 2 . As an elementary exercise, assume four points anywhere on the co-ordinate plane randomly,

and use the distance formula to calculate the distance between each pair of points.

Suppose that we are given two fixed points in the co-ordinate plane, say A ( x1 , y1 ) and B ( x2 , y2 ) . We

need to find the co-ordinates of the point C which divides the line segment AB in the ratio m : n. Observe

LOCUS 4

that two such points will exist. Name them C1 and C2. One of them will divide the line segment AB

internally in the ratio m : n while the other will divide AB in the same ratio externally, as shown in the

figure below:

y y

C2(xe , ye )

B(x2 , y2)

B(x2 , y2 )

C1(xi , yi )

A(x1 , y1 ) A(x1 , y1 )

x x

Internal division External division

C1 divides AB internally in C2 divides AB externally in

the ratio m : n. Thus, the ratio m : n. Thus,

AC1 m AC2 m

= =

C1B n C2 B n

Fig - 3

Let us find the co-ordinates of C1 using the help of the more detailed figure of internal division below:

y

and ADB are

C1(xi , yi ) similar. Thus,

(0, yi )

AE EC1 AC1

= =

AD DB AB

A(x1 , y1)

(0, y) D It is given that

E

AC1 : C1 B = m : n.

Thus,

AC1 m

=

AB m +n

x

O (x1,0) (xi ,0) (x2 ,0)

Fig - 4

As described in the figure above,

AE EC1 m

= =

AD DB m + n

xi − x1 yi − y1 m

⇒ = =

x2 − x1 y2 − y1 m + n

mx2 + nx1 my2 + ny1

⇒ xi =

, yi =

m+n m+n

Thus, the co-ordinates of the point C1 which divides AB internally in the ratio m : n are

,

m+n m+n

Division m:n

LOCUS 5

Using an analogous approach, we can obtain the co-ordinates of the point C2 which divides AB externally

in the ratio m : n

,

m−n m−n

Division m:n

A particular case of internal division is finding the co-ordinates of the mid-point of AB. Since the mid-point

of AB divides the segment AB in the ratio 1 : 1, the co-ordinates of the mid-point will be

,

A ≡( x1 , y1 ) and B ≡ ( x2 , y2 ) 2 2

Let us put these rudimentary results to use.

Example – 1

Find the co-ordinates of the centroid of a triangle with the vertices A ( x1 , y1 ) , B ( x2 , y2 ) and C ( x3 , y3 ).

Solution: To determine the centroid, we will borrow a result from plane geometry that you might remember from

high school: the centroid divides any median in the ratio 2 : 1.

A(x1, y1)

AD is a median of ABC

G divides AD in the

ratio 2 : 1, i.e,

AG : GD = 2 : 1

D C(x3 , y3 )

B(x2 , y2 )

Fig - 5

x + x y + y3

The co-ordinates of D, the mid-point of BC, are 2 3 , 2 . Since AG : GD = 2 :1,

2 2

we have the co-ordinates of G by the section formula as

x +x y + y3

2 2 3 + 1.x1 2 2 + 1. y1

G≡ 2

, 2

2 +1 2 +1

x1 + x2 + x3 y1 + y2 + y3

≡ ,

3 3

v

The expression for the centroid confirms the obvious fact that the co-ordinates of the centroid are

‘symmetric’ with respect to the co-ordinates of the three vertices of the triangle.

LOCUS 6

Example – 2

G is the centroid of triangle ABC. If O is any other point in the plane, prove that

OA2 + OB 2 + OC 2 = GA2 + GB 2 + GC 2 + 3 GO 2 .

Solution: There’s no loss of generality in taking O as the origin of our reference axis since even if we are given O

to be a non-origin point, we can always translate the axes (keeping the triangle ABC unchanged) so

that its origin coincides with O. Note that this operation will have no effect on the lengths

OA, OB, OC , OG , GA, GB, GC etc. However, the expressions for distances will become much

more simplified (In co-ordinate geometry, you will be required to follow such steps often, so that the

expressions you are to deal with can be kept as simple as possible).

Now, we assume some co-ordinates for A, B and C as shown in the figure below:

y

C (x3 , y3 )

B (x2 , y2 )

As discussed earlier, the co-ordinates

of G (x, y) are

G (x, y)

x1 + x2 + x3 y1 + y2 + y3

,

3 3

x

O

A(x1 , y1 )

Fig - 6

We have,

OA2 + OB 2 + OC 2 = x12 + y12 + x22 + y22 + x32 + y32 ... (1)

while

GA2 + GB 2 + GC 2 + 3GO 2 = ( x − x1 ) + ( y − y 1 ) + ( x − x2 ) + ( y − y2 )

2 2 2 2

+ ( x − x3 ) + ( y − y 3 ) + 3 ( x 2 + y 2 )

2 2

Comparing (1) and (2), we see that the two expressions are indeed equal

v

____________________________________________________________________________________

intend to find the area of ∆ ABC in terms of the given co-ordinates. How to evaluate this area is described

in the figure below:

LOCUS 7

y

B (x2 , y2 ) Note that

area ( ABC) =

area (trapezium APQB)

+

)

1

,y

1 area (trapezium BQRC)

x

A(

C (x3 , y3) –

area (trapezium APRC)

x

O P Q R

Fig - 7

Observe how the area of ∆ ABC has been written in terms of the area of three trapeziums.

1

From plane geometry, the area of a trapezium is × (sum of bases ) × height. Thus,

2

1

area ( trap. APQB ) = × ( AP + BQ ) × PQ

2

1

= ( y1 + y2 )( x2 − x1 ) ... (1)

2

Similarly,

1

area ( trap. BQRC ) = × ( BQ + CR ) × QR

2

1

= ( y2 + y3 )( x3 − x2 ) ... (2)

2

1

area ( trap. APRC ) = × ( AP + CR ) × PR

2

1

( y1 + y3 )( x3 − x1 )

= ... (3)

2

From (1), (2) and (3), we have, upon simplification,

1

area ( ∆ ABC ) = ( x2 y1 − x1 y2 + x3 y2 − x2 y3 + x1 y3 − x3 y1 )

2

{x1 ( y2 − y3 ) + x2 ( y3 − y1 ) + x3 ( y1 − y2 )}

1

=

2

We used the mod sign in the last expression because area is by definition positive.

We can express the area obtained in determinant form very concisely:

x1 y1 1

1

∆ = area ( ∆ ABC ) = x2 y2 1

2

x3 y3 1

LOCUS 8

As a consequence of this result, we can now easily find the area of an arbitrary quadrilateral ABCD as

describe in the figure below:

y

B(x2 , y2 ) C(x3 , y3 )

area (quad ABCD)

= area ( ABC) + area ( ACD)

x1 y1 1 x1 y1 1

1

D(x4, y4)

= x2 y2 1 + x3 y3 1

2

x3 y3 1 x4 y4 1

the areas of the two triangles

x separately and add them to

O

get the area of the quadrilateral

Fig - 8

We can generalise this method easily to find the area of any polygon as a sum of the areas of the constituent

triangles.

v

Example – 3

a a a

Find the area of the triangle, the co-ordinates of whose vertices are ap, , aq, and ar , .

p q r

Solution: Using the result obtained is Art - 3, we have,

a

ap 1

p

1 a

∆= aq 1

2 q

a

ar 1

r

1 a a a a a a

= ap − + aq − + ar −

2 q r r p p q

a2 p (r − q ) q ( p − r ) r (q − p )

= + +

2 qr pr pq

a 2 p 2 (q − r ) + q 2 (r − p ) + r 2 ( p − q )

=

2 pqr

v

LOCUS 9

Example – 4

Assume two fixed points in the co-ordinate plane: A ( a, 0 ) and B ( −a, 0 ) . A variable point C(x, y) moves in the

plane in such a way that CA + CB is a constant k. Use the distance formula to evaluate the condition that the

co-ordinates of C must satisfy.

Solution: We have,

CA = (x − a) + y2

2

CB = (x + a) + y2

2

and

CA + CB = k

⇒ CA2 + CB 2 + 2 CA ⋅ CB = k 2

⇒ (x − a)

2

+ y2 + ( x + a ) + y2 + 2

2

(( x − a ) + y ) (( x + a ) + y ) = k

2 2 2 2 2

(x − a2 ) + y 4 + 2 y 2 ( x2 + a2 ) = k 2 − 2 ( x2 + y 2 + a2 )

2

⇒ 2 2

⇒ 2 x 4 + y 4 + a 4 + 2 x 2 y 2 − 2a 2 x 2 + 2a 2 y 2 = k 2 − 2 ( x 2 + y 2 + a 2 )

Squaring both sides and cancelling out the common terms on both sides, we obtain

−8a 2 x 2 = k 4 + 8a 2 x 2 − 4 k 2 ( x 2 + y 2 + a 2 )

⇒ 4k 2 x 2 − 16a 2 x 2 + 4k 2 y 2 = k 4 − 4k 2 a 2

⇒ 4 x 2 ( k 2 − 4a 2 ) + 4 k 2 y 2 = k 2 ( k 2 − 4a 2 )

This is the relation that the co-ordinates of the variable point C (x, y) must satisfy. All the pairs (x, y)

which satisfy this equation, when plotted on the co-ordinate plane, will trace out the path on which the

variable point C is constrained to move. In other words, this equation specifies the locus of the

point C.

____________________________________________________________________________________

The last three articles dealt with the preliminaries of co-ordinate geometry and certain elementary formulae

which find widespread use. With this article, we start the discussion of the geometry of straight lines in

detail.

On the co-ordinate plane, the simplest case for a straight line would be one in which the line is parallel to

one of the co-ordinate axes.

LOCUS 10

y y

y0

x x0 x

O O

Any point on this line has a constant Any point on this line has a constant

y-co-ordinate equal to y0. x-co-ordinate equal to x0.

Thus, we can say that the equation Thus, we can say that the equation

of this line is y = y0 of this line is x = x0

(There's no constraint on the (There's no constraint on the

x-co-ordinate of this line) y-co-ordinate of this line)

Fig - 9

As described in the figure above, the equation of such a line is y = y0 or x = x0 accordingly as the line is

parallel to the x-axis or the y-axis respectively.

These are special cases of lines; we want to find the equation of any arbitrary line in general. Visualise any

such line in your mind. To completely specify such a line, you would need two quantities: the inclination of

the line (or its slope or the angle it makes with say, the x-axis) and the placement of the line (i.e. where the

line passes through with reference to the axes: we can specify the placement of the line by specifying the

point on the y-axis through which the line passes, or in other words, by specifying the y-intercept.)

c which tells us the

placement of the line

θ x

We need this angle

which tells us the

inclination of the line

Fig - 10

It should be obvious to you that any line can be determined uniquely using these two parameters.

We now find out the equation of this straight line, assuming that we know θ and c. In other words, we

intend to find out the relation that the co-ordinates (x, y) of any arbitrary point on the line must satisfy. The

determination of this equation is straightforward:

LOCUS 11

y

P We assume an arbitrary

(x, y) point P(x, y) on the line

and try to relate x and y

θ to the known quantities

A(0, c)

B θ and c.

The relation we

require is obtainable

from the fact that in APB,

θ x

O PB

C tan θ=

AB

Fig - 11

PB

tan θ =

AB

tan θ is a measure of the inclination of the line (its steepness). tan θ is therefore termed the slope of the line

and is denoted by m. Thus, m = tan θ . Also, notice that PB = ( y − c ) and AB = x. Therefore,

y−c

m=

x

! !

Slope y − intercept

This is the general equation of a straight line involving its slope and its y-intercept. This form of the equation

of the line is therefore termed the slope-intercept form.

Notice that if the line passes through the origin, its equation would reduce to y = mx.

As you might have guessed by now, this is not the only form to represent a straight line. This form uses the

slope and the intercept of the line.

Lets discuss another form. Notice that to uniquely determine any straight line, we either need the slope of

the line and a point through which this line passes, or we need at least two points through which that line

passes. Thus for example, a line can also be uniquely determined if we are given the two points where this

line intersects the x-axis and the y-axis.

y

The straight line

L can be uniquely

determined if we

know a and b, i.e

if we know the x-intercept

and the y - intercept

b

φ θ

x

O a

L

Fig - 12

LOCUS 12

b b

Notice that tan φ = so that the slope of the line is m = tan θ = tan ( π − φ ) = − tan φ = − . Also, the

a a

y-intercept is b. Thus, using the slope intercept form obtained earlier, the equation of the line L is

b

y=− x+b

a

⇒ bx + ay = ab

x y : Intercept form

⇒ + =1

a b

! "

x − intercept y − intercept

Thus, if we know the x and y intercepts, we can directly use this form to write the equation of the line.

Lets consider a third form to represent a line. From the figure below, observe carefully that to uniquely

determine a line, we could also specify the length of the perpendicular dropped from the origin to that line

and the orientation (inclination) of that perpendicular:

y

can be uniquely

determined if we know

p and α

p

α y

L

Fig - 13

To determine the equation of this line, assume any point P on the line with the co-ordinate (x, y). Observe

the geometry described in the figure below carefully:

y

Observe that:

OR = OQ cos α = x cos α

A and

RA = SP = PQ sin α

= y sin α

P(x, y)

p R

S α

α

x

O Q B

Fig - 14

LOCUS 13

OR + RA = OA = p

! "

inclination of length of

perpendicular perpendicular

Thus, we now know of three forms in which the equation of an arbitrary straight line can be written.

From those three forms, you might be able to deduce that the most general form for the equation of an

arbitrary straight line is Ax + By + C = 0 . Let us try to prove this assertion, that is, let us try to show that

Ax + By + C = 0 represents the equation of a straight line.

For this purpose, it will suffice to show that if we take any three arbitrary points ( x1 , y1 ) , ( x2 , y2 ) and

( x3 , y3 ) on the curve Ax + By + C = 0, these three points will turn out to be collinear. Equivalently, the

area of the triangle with the vertices as these three points will turn out to be zero.

Ax1 + By1 + C = 0

Ax2 + By2 + C = 0

Ax3 + By3 + C = 0

We can eliminate A, B and C from these three equations simultaneously to obtain a relation involving only

the co-ordinates of the three points. A basic knowledge of elimination in determinant form will tell you that

the relation we’ll get after elimination is

x1 y1 1

x2 y2 1 = 0

x3 y3 1

which means that the area of the triangle formed by these three points as vertices is zero! Hence, the

assertion is true.

With this discussion in mind, you should be able to write the equation for any arbitrary straight line. We will

encounter the use of all these forms in the coming examples.

Before concluding this article, do this as a simple exercise based on the discussion we've already done:

(a) Show that the equation of the straight line with slope m and passing through the fixed point (x1, y1)

is y − y1 = m ( x − x1 )

(b) Show that the equation of the straight line passing through the two fixed points ( x1 , y1 ) and ( x2 , y2 )

is

y − y1 y2 − y1

=

x − x1 x2 − x1

LOCUS 14

The following table summarizes the various forms of the straight line that we've encountered.

Slope m

1. y = mx + c Slope-intercept form

y-intercept c

x -intercept a x y

2. y -intercept b + =1 Intercept form

a b

Length of perpendicular

3. from origin to the line :p x cos α + y sin α = p Normal form

Inclination of perpendicular :α

Slope : m

4. Any point through y − y1 = m ( x − x1 ) Point-slope form

which the line passes : ( x1 , y1 )

Any two points through : ( x1 , y1 ) y − y1 y2 − y1

5. = Two point form

which the line passes : ( x2 , y2 ) x − x1 x2 − x1

Most general form : Ax + By + C = 0 where A, B, C ∈ #

and at least one of

A, B is non-zero

Note that each of the five specific forms mentioned in the table above can be converted easily to the most

general form of the equation of a line. You are urged to do this as an exercise.

Also, the five forms are inter convertible among themselves in most cases too. For example, y = mx + c

x y c

can be written in intercept form as + = 1 so that the x-intercept of this line is a = − and the

− (c / m ) c m

y-intercept is b = c. You are urged to try out all the (possible) conversions from one form to another.

You should now be able to understand that to determine a straight line uniquely, we must have two

quantities given. Thus, two points could uniquely fix a line, or a point on the line and its slope could do so

too, and so on. Notice that the general equation of the line also in fact contains only two arbitrary

constants:

Ax + By + C = 0

A B

⇒ x + y +1 = 0

C C

⇒ Px + Qy + 1 = 0

arbitrary constants

We are given two lines L1 and L2, and we are required to find the point at which they intersect (if they are

non-parallel) and the angle at which they are inclined to one another, i.e., the angle of intersection.

Evaluating the point of intersection is a simple matter of solving two simultaneous linear equations. Let the

LOCUS 15

general form). Now, let the point of intersection be (x1, y1). Thus,

a1 x1 + b1 y1 + c1 = 0

a2 x1 + b2 y1 + c2 = 0

This system can be solved to get

x1 y1 1

= =

b1c2 − b2 c1 c1a2 − c2 a1 a1b2 − a2b1

b1c2 − b2 c1 c1a2 − c2 c1

, : Point of intersection

a1b2 − a2b1 a1b2 − a2b1

To obtain the angle of intersection between these two lines, consider the figure below:

y L2 = a2 x + b2 y + c2 = 0

Note that

θ = θ2− θ1

L1 = a1 x + b1 y + c1 = 0

θ1 θ2

x

Fig - 15

a c c a

y1 = − 1 x + 1 = m1 x + 1 where m1 = − 1

b1 b1 b1 b1

a c c a

and y2 = − 2 x + 2 = m2 x + 2 where m2 = − 2

b2 b2 b2 b2

Note in Fig - 15 that θ = θ2 − θ1 and thus

tan θ = tan ( θ2 − θ1 )

tan θ2 − tan θ1

=

1 + tan θ1 tan θ2

m2 − m1

= ... (1)

1 + m1m2

Conventionally, we would be interested only in the acute angle between the two lines and thus we have to

m2 − m1

have tan θ as a positive quantity. So in (1) above, if the expression 1 + m m turns out to be negative, this

1 2

would be the tangent of the obtuse angle between the two lines; thus, to get the acute angle between the

two lines, we use the magnitude of this expression.

Maths / Straight Lines

LOCUS 16

m2 − m1

θ = tan −1 : Acute angle between the two lines

1 + m1 m2

From this relation, we can easily deduce the conditions on m1 and m2 such that the two lines L1 and L2 are

parallel or perpendicular.

If the lines are parallel, θ = 0 so that m1 = m2 which is intuitively obvious since parallel lines must have the

π

same slope. For the two lines to be perpendicular, θ = so that cot θ = 0; this can happen if 1 + m1m2 = 0

2

or m1m2 = −1. Thus,

m1 = m2 : for parallel lines

and

m1 m2 = −1 : for perpendicular lines

If the lines L1 and L2 are given in the general form given in the general form ax + by + c = 0, the slope of

a

this line is m = − so that the condition for L1 and L2 to be parallel becomes − a1 = − a2 or a1b2 = a2b1

b b1 b2

aa

and the condition for L1 and L2 to be perpendicular becomes 1 2 = −1 or a1a2 + b1b2 = 0 .

b1b2

For example, the line L1 ≡ x + y = 1 is perpendicular to the line L2 ≡ x − y = 1 because the slope of L1

is –1 while the slope of L2 is 1.

L2 = x - y = 1

L1 = x + y = 1

Fig - 16

1

slope of both the lines is m = .

2

LOCUS 17

Example – 5

Find the equation to the straight line which passes through (3, –2) and is inclined at 60º to the line 3 x + y = 1.

Solution: Observe carefully that there will be two such lines. Denote the two lines by L1 and L2

L2

60º L1

(3, -2)

60º

3x+y = 1

Fig - 17

The slope of 3 x + y = 1 is m1 = − 3

Since we want the acute angle between the two lines to be 60º, we must have by Art - 5,

m1 − m

tan 60º =

1 + mm1

− 3−m

⇒ 3=

1− 3 m

m+ 3

⇒ =± 3

1− 3 m

⇒ m + 3 = 3 − 3m or m + 3 = 3m − 3

⇒ m = 0 or m = 3

Since we get two values of m, this confirms our earlier assertion that two such lines will exist. We now

have the slope. We also know that the lines pass through (3, –2). We can therefore use the point-slope

form to write down the required equations:

L1 ≡ y − ( −2 ) = 0 ( x − 3) ; L2 ≡ y − ( −2 ) = 3 ( x − 3)

⇒ L1 ≡ y + 2 = 0 and L2 ≡ y − 3 x + 2 + 3 3 = 0

Example – 6

Find the equation of the straight line which passes through the point ( a cos θ, a sin θ ) and is perpendicular to

3 3

LOCUS 18

sec θ

Solution: The slope of the given line is m1 = − = − tan θ

cosecθ

Therefore, the slope of the line we require will be given by m2 where

1

m2 = −

m1

⇒ m2 = cot θ

We now know the slope of the line and we are also given a fixed point through which the line passes.

We can therefore use the point-slope form to determine its equation:

y − a sin 3 θ = cot θ ( x − a cos3 θ )

= a cos 2θ

Thus, the required equation is

x cos θ − y sin θ = a cos 2θ

____________________________________________________________________________________

Art 6 Half-planes

Any straight line divides the Euclidean plane into two half planes. In this article, we wish to determine the

half-plane in which an arbitrary point lies with respect to a given line.

Let the equation of the given line be ax + by + c = 0. Consider two points ( x1 , y1 ) and ( x2 , y 2 ) that lie in

different half-planes with respect to this line:

ax + by + c = 0

(x2 , y2 ) P

Half-plane B

(x1 , y'1 )

Half-plane A

Q (x1 , y1 )

(x2 , y'2 )

x

Fig - 18

The point ( x1 , y1 ) lies in the lower half-plane while ( x2 , y2 ) lies in the upper half plane. We require a

condition on these co-ordinates which must be satisfied if the points lie in opposite half-planes. In Fig - 18,

we have dropped verticle line segments from ( x1 , y1 ) and ( x2 y2 ) to the given line, intersecting it in P and

Q respectively.

The co-ordinates of P and Q are ( x1 , y1' ) and ( x2 , y2' ) respectively where y1' ≠ y1 and y2' ≠ y2 .

Since P, Q lie on the given line, their co-ordinates must satisfy the equation of the line. Thus,

Maths / Straight Lines

LOCUS 19

( ax1 + c )

b

ax2 + by2' + c = 0 ⇒ y2' =−

( ax2 + c )

and

b

Now, from Fig - 18 we have

y1 < y1' and y2 > y2'

⇒ y1 < −

( ax1 + c ) y2 > −

( ax2 + c )

and

b b

ax1 + by1 + c ax2 + by2 + c

⇒ <0 and >0

b b

⇒ ax1 + by1 + c and ax2 + by2 + c are of opposite signs.

This is the required condition. Translated into words, it says that for two points lying in opposite

half-planes, their co-ordinates when substituted respectively into the equation of the line must give

expressions of opposite signs. (For two points in the same half-plane, the signs would be the same).

As a corollary, observe that a point (x1, y1) lies in the same half–plane or opposite half–plane in which the

origin lies accordingly as ( ax1 + by1 + c ) and c are of the same sign or opposite signs respectively.

Suppose that we are given the equation of a line L and we are required to find the length of the

perpendicular dropped from an arbitrary point P ( x1 , y1 ) on L.

Suppose that the equation of L is in normal form, i.e, L ≡ x cos α + y sin α = p.

y

PQ. Note that

PQ = OR - OS

R = OR - p

To determine OR, we

P (x1, y1) draw a line L' parallel to

S L through P (x1, y1)

Let OR = p1

p

α Q

x

O L = x cos α + y sin α - p = 0 L'

Fig - 19

Based on the discussion in the figure above, the equation of the line L' is x cos α + y sin α − p1 = 0.

Since L1 passes through P, the co-ordinates of P must satisfy the equation of L1. Thus,

x1 cos α + y1 sin α − p1 = 0

LOCUS 20

Let us now assume the case where L is given in the general form, i.e. L ≡ ax + by + c = 0.

We can easily adjust the equation of L so that c is negative. We do this so that we can convert L into the

normal form:

ax + by + c = 0 c<0

⇒ ax + by = − c

a b −c

⇒ 2 x+ y =

a +b a +b a +b

2 2 2 2 2

a b −c

where cos α = , sin α = and p =

a +b

2 2

a +b

2 2

a + b2

2

The equation in (1) is in the normal form; we can now use the result obtained in the preceding discussion

to obtain the length of the perpendicular PQ:

Modulus sign is

PQ = x1 cos α + y1 sin α − p used since PQ

must be +ve

ax1 by1 c

= + +

a 2 + b2 a 2 + b2 a 2 + b2

ax1 + by1 + c

PQ = : Length of perpendicular

a 2 + b2

Example – 7

Find the distance between two parallel lines L1 and L2 given by L1 ≡ ax + by + c1 = 0 and L2 ≡ ax + by + c2 = 0

Solution:

L1

Assume any point P

on the line L1; we are

P(x1, y1 ) required to find d

d L2

Fig - 20

Since P lies on L1, we have

ax1 + by1 + c1 = 0

⇒ ax1 + by1 = −c1

⇒ ax1 + by1 + c2 = c2 − c1 ... (1)

LOCUS 21

By the previous article, the length of the perpendicular dropped from P upon the line L2 is

ax1 + by1 + c2

d=

a 2 + b2

c1 − c2

= (By (1) above)

a 2 + b2

This is the required distance between the two lines

Example – 8

If p and p' be the perpendiculars from the origin upon the lines L1 ≡ x sec θ + y cosec θ − a = 0 and

L2 ≡ x cos θ − y sin θ − a cos 2θ = 0, show that 4 p 2 + p '2 = a 2

a

p=

sec 2 θ + cosec 2θ

= a sin θ cos θ ... (1)

Similarly, p', the length of the perpendicular from (0, 0) to L2 is

a cos 2θ

p' =

cos 2 θ + sin 2 θ

= a cos 2θ ... (2)

We now have from (1) and (2)

4 p 2 + p '2 = 4a 2 sin 2 θ + a 2 cos 2 2θ

= a 2 sin 2 2θ + a 2 cos 2 2θ

= a2

____________________________________________________________________________________

Art 8 Concurrency

Consider three different straight lines L1, L2 and L3:

L1 ≡ a1 x + b1 y + c1 = 0 ... (1)

L2 ≡ a2 x + b2 y + c2 = 0 ... (2)

L3 ≡ a3 x + b3 y + c3 = 0 ... (3)

We need to evaluate the constraint on the coefficients ai' s, bi' s and ci' s such that the three lines are

concurrent.

Let us first determine the point P of intersection of L1 and L2. By Art - 5, it will be

b1c2 − b2 c1 c1a2 − c2 a1

P≡ ,

a1b2 − a2b1 a1b2 − a2b1

LOCUS 22

Thus three lines will be concurrent if L3 passes through P too, that is P satisfies the equation of L3. Thus,

bc −b c c a −c a

a3 1 2 2 1 + b3 1 2 2 1 + c3 = 0

a1b2 − a2b1 a1b2 − a2b1

⇒ a3 (b1c2 − b2c1 ) + b3 ( c1a2 − c2 a1 ) + c3 ( a1b2 − a2b1 ) = 0

⇒ a1 (b2 c3 − b3c2 ) + b1 ( c2 a3 − c3 a2 ) + c1 ( a2b3 − a3b2 ) = 0

This relation can be written compactly in determinant form as

a1 b1 c1

a2 b2 c2 = 0

a3 b3 c3

This is the condition that must be satisfied for the three lines to be concurrent.

lines are concurrent because the determinant of the coefficients is 0, i.e,

2 −3 5

3 4 −7 = 0

9 −5 8

Example – 9

Prove that the three lines L1, L2 and L3 whose equations have been mentioned in the preceeding discussion, are

concurrent if we can find three constants λ1 , λ 2 and λ 3 such that

λ1 L1 + λ 2 L2 + λ3 L3 = 0

Solution: Assume that L1 and L2 intersect at the point P whose co-ordinates are (x0, y0) P should satisfy the

equations of both L1 and L2.

L1 (at P ) ≡ a1 x0 + b1 y0 + c1 = 0 ... (1)

L2 ( at P ) ≡ a2 x0 + b2 y0 + c2 = 0 ... (2)

Now assume that we can find three non-zero constants λ1 , λ 2 and λ 3 such that

λ1L1 + λ 2 L2 + λ 3 L3 = 0 . We will prove that due to this condition, L3 will definitely have to pass

through P:

λ1 L1 + λ 2 L2 + λ 3 L3 = 0

λ λ

⇒ L3 = − 1 L1 + − 2 L2

λ3 λ3

If we evaluate the value of L3 at P, we get

λ λ

L3 ( at P ) = − 1 × L1 (at P ) + − 2 × L2 (at P )

λ3 λ3

λ λ By (1)

= − 1 ×0 + − 2 ×0

λ3 λ3 and ( 2 )

=0

Since the value of L3 is 0 at P, the line L3 must pass through P. Thus, L1, L2 and L3 are concurrent.

Maths / Straight Lines

LOCUS 23

Example – 10

Solution: Let the triangle have the vertices A ( x1 , y1 ) , B ( x2 , y2 ) and C ( x3 , y3 ) as in the figure below:

of BC, CA and AB respectively.

E The co-ordinates of any mid

point can easily be evaluated

F by the section formula. For eg,

C(x3 , y3 ) the co-ordinates of D are

x2 + x3 y2 + y3

D ,

2 2

B(x2 , y2 )

Fig - 21

From the two-point form of the equation of a line, we can write down the equations of AD, BE and

CF.

The equation L1 of the median AD is:

y + y3

y1 − 2

y − y1 2

L1 ≡ =

x − x1 x − 2 x3

x +

1

2

⇒ L1 ≡ ( 2 y1 − ( y2 + y3 )) x − ( 2 x1 − ( x2 + x3 )) y = x1 ( 2 y1 − ( y2 + y3 )) − y1 ( 2 x1 − ( x2 + x3 ))

By symmetry, we can write down the corresponding equations L2 and L3 of the medians BE and CF.

Observe carefully that when we subsequently add the three equations L1, L2 and L3, their left hand

sides sum to 0. Thus, we have found three constants 1, 1 and 1 such that

1 ⋅ L1 + 1 ⋅ L2 + 1 ⋅ L3 = 0

⇒ L1 , L2 and L3 are concurrent

⇒ The medians of any triangle are concurrent.

Example – 11

Show that the equation of any line passing through the intersection point P of two given lines whose equations

are L1 and L2, can be expressed as L1 + λ L2 = 0, where λ is a real parameter.

Consider the equation L1 + λ L2 = 0 ... (1)

⇒ a1 x + b1 y + c1 + λ ( a2 x + b2 y + c2 ) = 0

LOCUS 24

This is definitely the equation of a straight line because it is of the form ax + by + c = 0. Also, notice in

addition that the intersection point P will satisfy this equation, because if we substitute the co-ordinates

of the intersection point P in (1), both L1 and L2 vanish.

Thus, L1 + λL2 = 0 is the equation of an arbitrary straight line that passes through the intersection

point P of L1 and L2. (As we vary λ , the slope of this line will vary but it will always pass through P).

passing through P can be

L1 + λ L2= 0 written as

L1 + λ L2 = 0

where λ is a real

P parameter

L1 = 0

L2 = 0

Fig - 22

This result is very beneficial in certain cases. We’ll see such cases in some subsequent examples

Example – 12

x y x y

(b) Origin and the point of intersection of + = 1 and + = 1 .

a b b a

Solution: (a) The equations of the two given lines in standard form are :

L1 ≡ 2 x + 3 y − 1 = 0

L2 ≡ 3x − 4 y − 6 = 0

Any line passing through the intersection point of L1 and L2 is

L1 + λ L2 = 0

⇒ (2 x + 3 y − 1) + λ (3 x − 4 y − 6) = 0

⇒ (2 + 3λ ) x + (3 − 4λ ) y − (1 + 6λ ) = 0 ... (1)

We want this line to pass through (3, 2). Therefore (3, 2) must satisfy the equation of this line, i.e.

(2 + 3λ )3 + (3 − 4λ )2 − (1 + 6λ ) = 0

⇒ −5λ + 11 = 0

11

⇒ λ=

5

Maths / Straight Lines

LOCUS 25

11

We substitute λ = in (1) to get the required equation:

5

11 11 11

(2 + 2 ⋅ ) x + (3 − 4 ⋅ ) y − (1 + 6 ⋅ ) = 0

5 5 5

⇒ 43 x − 29 y − 71 = 0

L1 : bx + ay − ab = 0

L2 : ax + by − ab = 0

The equation of any line passing through the intersection point of L1 and L2 is

L1 + λ L2 = 0

⇒ (b + λ a ) x + (a + λ b ) y − ab (1 + λ ) = 0 ... (2)

Since this line must pass through (0, 0), we substitute (0, 0) into (2) to get

ab(1 + λ ) = 0

⇒ λ = −1

(b − a ) x + (a − b ) y = 0

⇒ x− y =0

____________________________________________________________________________________

Consider two straight lines L1 and L2 with the equations

L1 : a1 x + b1 y + c1 = 0

L2 : a2 x + b2 y + c2 = 0

We intend to find the angle bisector formed at the intersection point P of L1 and L2. Note that there will be

two such angle bisectors

y

P We denote the

two angle bisectors

by A1 and A2

x

A2 L2

A2

L1

Fig - 23

LOCUS 26

To write down the equations of the two angle bisectors, we first modify the equations of L1 and L2 so that

c1 and c2 are say, both negative in sign. This can always be done. Why this is done will soon become clear.

We first write down the equation of A1, the angle bisector of the angle in which the origin lies.

By virtue of being an angle bisector, if any point P ( x′, y ′) lies on A1, the distance of P from L1 and L2 must

be equal. Using the perpendicular distance formula of Art -7, we have

a1 x′ + b1 y′ + c1 a2 x′ + b2 y′ + c2

⇒ =

a12 + b1 2 a22 + b22

a1 x′ + b1 y ′ + c1 a2 x′ + b2 y′ + c2

⇒ =± ...(1)

a1 + b1

2 2

a22 + b22

Which sign should we select, “+” or “–”, for the bisector of the angle containing the origin?

Since P and origin lie on the same side of L1, a1 x′ + b1 y′ + c1 and c1 must be of the same sign by Art - 6.

Similarly, a2 x′ + b2 y′ + c2 and c2 must be of the same sign. But since we have already arranged c1 and c2

to be of the same sign (both negative), we must have ( a1 x′ + b1 y′ + c1 ) and ( a2 x′ + b2 y′ + c2 ) also of the

same sign.

Thus, it follows from (1) that to write the equation of the angle bisector of the angle containing the origin,

we must select the “+” sign since ( a1 x′ + b1 y′ + c1 ) and ( a2 x′ + b2 y′ + c2 ) are of the same sign. The “–”

sign gives the angle bisector of the angle not containing the origin, i.e., the equation of A2.

To summarize, we first arrange the equations of L1 and L2 so that c1 and c2 are both of the same sign.

Subsequently, using the property of any angle bisector, we obtain

=+ :

a1 + b1

2 2

a +b

2 2 contaning the origin

2 2

and

=− :

a1 + b1

2 2

a +b

2 2 contaning the origin

2 2

Example – 13

Find the angle bisector of the angle between the straight lines L1 : 3x − 4 y + 7 = 0 and L2 :12 x − 5 y − 8 = 0 which

contains the origin.

LOCUS 27

Solution: Following the discussion of the preceeding article, we first modify the equations L1 and L2 so that the

constant terms in both the equations are of the same sign (say both positive):

L1 : 3x − 4 y + 7 = 0

L2 : − 12 x + 5 y + 8 = 0

The angle bisector of the angle containing the origin is

(3 x − 4 y + 7) (−12 x + 5 y + 8)

=+

32 + 4 2 12 2 + 52

⇒ 99 x − 77 y + 51 = 0

Example – 14

Find the bisector of the angle between the lines x + 2 y − 11 = 0 and 3 x − 6 y − 5 = 0 which contains the

point (1, –3).

Solution: Again we first arrange the equations of the two lines such that constant terms are positive

L1 : − x − 2 y + 11 = 0

L2 : − 3x + 6 y + 5 = 0

Note that

⇒ Origin and (1, –3) are on the same side of L1.

⇒ Origin and (1, –3) are on the opposite sides of L2.

This means that the point (1, –3) does not lie in the same region as the origin, since (1, –3) must be on

the opposite side of the origin with respect to L2.The example figure below will make this clear:

L1

(1, -3 ) the angle not containing

the origin

Origin

L2

Fig - 24

LOCUS 28

Thus, it is clear that (1, –3) lies in the angle not containing the origin.

P (x, y) lies on the opposite side of the origin with respect to

both L1 and L2, it would lie in the vertically opposite angle to

the angle in which the origin lies ; in such a case, the angle

bisector of the angle containing P is the same as that of the

one containing the origin.

P (x, y)

L1

Origin

L2

Fig - 25

To determine the angle bisector of the angle containing (1, –3), we simply determine the angle bisector

of the angle not containing the origin, i.e.

− x − 2 y + 11 −3 x + 6 y + 5

=−

5 3 5

⇒ 6 5 x = 38 5

19

⇒ x=

3

Note that to determine the angle bisector of the angle containing the point P as in Fig.-25, we would

have chosen the angle bisector of the angle containing the origin.

LOCUS 29

Sometimes, it is very convenient to write the equation of a straight line in polar / distance form.

Suppose we know that the line passes through the fixed point P (h, k ) and is at an inclination of θ :

y

Q(x, y)

r

Let PQ = r

P(h, k)

θ x

Fig - 26

For any point Q ( x , y ) at a distance r from P along this line, we can write the simple relation

x−h y−k

= =r

cos θ sin θ

This is the required equation of the line. The point Q ( x , y ), at a distance r from P, has the coordinates

along this line but on the opposite side of Q; thus Q′( x, y ) will have the

coordinates Q′( x, y ) ≡ (h − r cos θ, k − r sin θ)

Example – 15

A line through A( −5, − 4) meets the lines x + 3 y = 2, 2 x + y + 4 = 0 and x − y − 5 = 0 at the points B, C and D

respectively. If

2 2 2

15 10 6

+ = ,

AB AC AD

find the equation of the line.

LOCUS 30

Solution:

B x-y-5=0

We want to

C x + 3y = 2 find the equation

of the line L.

Assume

AB = r1

A AC = r2

(-5,-4) 2x + y + 4 = 0 AD = r3

D

L=0 Fig - 27

The figure above roughly sketches the situation described in the equation. Let B, C and D be at

distances r1 , r2 and r3 from A along the line L = 0, whose equation we wish to determine. Assume the

inclination of L to be θ. Thus, B, C and D have the coordinates (respectively):

D ≡ (−5 + r3 cos θ, − 4 + r3 sin θ)

Since these three points(respectively) satisfy the three given equations, we have :

15

Point B : (−5 + r1 cos θ) + 3(−4 + r1 sin θ) + 2 = 0 ⇒ r1 =

cos θ + 3sin θ

10

Point C : 2( −5 + r2 cos θ) + ( −4 + r2 sin θ) + 4 = 0 ⇒ r2 =

2 cos θ + sin θ

6

Point D : (−5 + r3 cos θ) − (−4 + r3 sin θ) − 5 = 0 ⇒ r3 =

cos θ − sin θ

It is given that

2 2 2

15 10 6

+ =

AB AC AD

2 2 2

15 10 6

i.e. + =

r1 r2 r3

−2

⇒ tan θ =

3

−2

⇒ m=

3

LOCUS 31

−2

Thus, we obtain the slope of L as . The equation of L can now be easily written :

3

−2

L : y − ( −4) = ( x − (−5))

3

⇒ L : 2 x + 3 y + 22 = 0

LOCUS 32

TRY YOURSELF - I

x y x y

1. A variable straight line drawn through the intersection of the lines + = 1 and + = 1 meets the

a b b a

axes in A and B. Show that the locus of the mid-point of AB is 2 xy ( a + b) = ab( x + y )

2. The line bx + ay = ab cuts the axes in A and B. Another variable line cuts the axes in C and D such

that OA + OB = OC + OD, where O is the origin. Prove that the locus of the point of intersection of

the lines AD and BC is the line x + y = a + b.

3. A point P moves so that the square of its distance from (3, –2) is equal to its distance from the line

5 x − 12 y = 13. Find the locus of P.

4. A line intersects the x-axis in A(7, 0) and the y-axis in B(0, –5). A variable line perpendicular to AB

intersects the x-axis in P and the y-axis in Q. If AQ and BP intersect in R, find the locus of R.

5. If the sum of the distances of a point from two perpendicular lines in a plane is 1, prove that its locus

is a square.

6. A vertex of an equilateral triangle is (2, 3) and the opposite side is x + y = 2. Find the equations of the

other sides.

7. A ray of light along the line x − 2 y − 3 = 0 is incident upon the mirror-line 3 x − 2 y − 5 = 0. Find the

equation of the reflected ray.

8. If the vertices of a triangle have integral coordinates, show that it cannot be equilateral.

9. Show using coordinate geometry that the angle bisectors of the sides of a triangle are concurrent.

10. The sides of a triangle are 4 x + 3 y + 7 = 0, 5 x + 12 y − 27 = 0 and 3 x + 4 y + 8 = 0. By explicitly

evaluating the medians in this triangle, show that they are concurrent.

11. A rod APB of constant length meets the axes in A and B. If AP = b and PB = a and the rod slides

between the axes, show that the locus of P is b 2 x 2 + a 2 y 2 = a 2b 2

12. If p is the length of the perpendicular from the origin to the line whose intercepts on the axes are a and

1 1 1

b, show that 2

= 2 + 2.

p a b

13. The lines 3 x + 4 y − 8 = 0 and 5 x + 12 y + 3 = 0 intersect in A. Find the equations of the lines passing

through P (3, 4), which intersect the given lines at B and C, such that AB = AC.

14. The equal sides AB and AC of an isosceles triangle ABC are produced to the points P and Q such that

BP ⋅ CQ = AB 2 . Prove that the line PQ always passes through a fixed point.

15. One side of a square is inclined to the x-axis at an angle α and one of its extremities is at the origin;

prove that the equations to its diagonals are

y (cos α − sin α ) = x(sin α + cos α )

and y (sin α + cos α ) + x (cos α − sin α ) = a

where a is the length of the side of the sqaure.

LOCUS 33

L1 ≡ y − m1 x − c1 = 0

L2 ≡ y − m2 x − c2 = 0

What do you think will L1L2 = 0 represent ? It is obvious that any point lying on L1 and L2 will satisfy L1L2 = 0,

and thus L1L2 = 0 represents the set of points constituting both the lines, i.e.,

For example, consider the equation y 2 − x 2 = 0. What does this represent ? We have

y2 − x2 = 0 ...(1)

⇒ ( y + x)( y − x) = 0

x=y

2 2

by y - x = 0

x+y=0

Fig - 28

There is nothing special about considering a pair. We can similarly define the joint equation of n straight lines

Li ≡ y − mi x − ci = 0 (i = 1, 2..., n) as

L1L2 ...Ln = 0

⇒ ( y − m1 x − c1 )( y − m2 x − c2 )...( y − mn x − cn ) = 0 ...(2)

Any point lying on any of these n straight lines will satisfy (2), and thus (2) represents the set of all points constituting

the n lines, i.e. (2) represents the joint equation of the n straight lines.

What is relevant to us at this stage is only a pair of straight lines and it is on a pair of lines that we now focus our

attention.

Maths / Straight Lines

LOCUS 34

We first consider a special (and simple)case. Both the lines in our pair pass through the origin. Thus, their equations

can be written as

L1 : y − m1 x = 0

L2 : y − m2 x = 0

y

L2

θ L1

θ2 Pair of lines passing through

the origin with slopes

O θ1 x

m1 = tan θ1

m2 = tan θ2

Fig - 29

L1L2 = 0

⇒ ( y − m1 x)( y − m2 x) = 0

(3) suggests that the general equation of a pair of straight lines passing through the origin is

ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0 ...(4)

(4) is a homogenous equation of degree 2, implying that the degree of each term is 2.

It should now be apparent that any homogenous equation of degree 2 will represent two straight lines passing

through the origin (we’ll soon see that the two straight lines might be imaginary; the meaning of this will become

clear in a subsequent example).

Generalising, any nth degree homogenous equation of the form

a0 x n + a1 x n −1 y + a2 x n − 2 y 2 + ... + an y n = 0 ...(5)

represents n straight lines (real or imaginary) passing through the origin. To obtain the slopes of these n lines, we

y

divide by x n in (5) and substitute = m :

x

an m n + an −1m n −1 + ... + a0 = 0

LOCUS 35

Example – 16

(a) y 2 − 5 xy + 6 x 2 = 0

(b) 3 y 2 − 10 xy + 3 x 2 = 0

(c) y 2 + xy + x 2 = 0

Solution: Note that the homogenous nature of these equations tells us that the lines will pass through the origin.

(a) y 2 − 5 xy + 6 x 2 = 0

( y − 2 x )( y − 3 x ) = 0

so that the lines are

y = 2 x and y = 3 x

OR,

y

we divide it by x 2 and substitute m = to obtain :

x

m 2 − 5m + 6 = 0

⇒ m = 2, 3

y

⇒ = 2, 3

x

⇒ y = 2 x or y = 3 x

(b) 3 y 2 − 10 xy + 3 x 2 = 0

y

⇒ 3m − 10m + 3 = 0

2

m =

x

1

⇒ m = 3,

3

x

⇒ y = 3 x, y =

3

LOCUS 36

(c) y 2 + xy + x 2 = 0

y

⇒ m2 + m + 1 = 0 Again, m =

x

This has no real roots and thus physically, no lines will exist with the joint equation y 2 + xy + x 2 = 0.

We sometimes say that this equation represents imaginary lines.

Note that in the entire plane, only (0, 0) satisfies this equation.

____________________________________________________________________________________

Consider now that we’ve been given the equation of a pair of straight lines passing through the origin as :

ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0 ...(1)

We wish to determine the angle between these two lines. Let m1 and m2 be the slopes of these two lines. By

y

dividing(1) by x2 and substituting = m, we have

x

bm 2 + 2 hm + a = 0

This quadratic in m will have its roots as m1 and m2. Thus,

−2h a

m1 + m2 = ; m1m2 = ...(2)

b b

The angle between the two lines, say θ, is given by

m1 − m2

tan θ =

1 + m1m2

(m1 + m2 ) 2 − 4m1m2

=

1 + m1m2

2 h 2 − ab

= (Using (2))

a+b

As a consequence of this formula, we see that the lines represented by (1), are :

Parallel (in fact coincident since both pass through the origin) if h 2 = ab

Perpendicular if a+b = 0

The importance of this condition must be mentioned; it is very widely used and should be committed to memory.

As an example, the locus given by

3 y 2 − 8 xy − 3 x 2 = 0 ...(3)

represent two perpendicular straight lines since

a + b = (3) + ( −3) = 0

Verify this by the explicit factorization of (3).

LOCUS 37

Example – 17

Find the equation of the pair of lines through the origin and perpendicular to the pair of lines ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0.

Solution: Let the slopes of the two lines represented by the given equation be m1 and m2. As explained earlier,

m1 and m2 are the roots of the quadratic

bm 2 + 2 hm + a = 0

so that

−2h a

m1 + m2 = , m1m2 = ...(1)

b b

−1 −1

The slopes of the lines whose joint equation we require will simply be m and m so that their

1 2

equations will be :

−1 −1

y= x, y= x

m1 m2

⇒ x + m1 y = 0, x + m2 y = 0

The required joint equation is

( x + m1 y )( x + m2 y ) = 0

⇒ x 2 + m1m2 y 2 + (m1 + m2 ) xy = 0

a 2 2h

⇒ x2 + y − xy = 0 (Using (1))

b b

⇒ bx 2 − 2hxy + ay 2 = 0

Example – 18

he equation ax 3 + bx 2 y + cx 2 + dy 3 = 0 is a third degree homogenous equation and hence represents three straight

lines passing through the origin. Find the condition so that two of these three lines may be perpendicular.

y

Solution: We divide the given equation by x 3 and substitute = m to obtain:

x

dm3 + cm 2 + bm + a = 0 ...(1)

This has three roots, say m1 , m2 , m3 , corresponding to the three straight lines. Since we want two of

these lines to be perpendicular, we can assume

m1m2 = −1

LOCUS 38

−a

m1 m2 m3 =

d

a

⇒ m3 =

d

Substituting this value of m3 back in (1), (since m3 is a root of (1)), we obtain

da 3 ca 2 ba

+ 2 + +a =0

d3 d d

⇒ a 2 + ac + bd + d 2 = 0

Example – 19

( y − 3 x )( y − 6 x ) = 0

Thus, the three lines forming the sides of the triangle are

y = 3 x, y = 6 x, y = 9

The three intersection points can easily be seen to be

3

(0, 0), (3, 9), ,9

2

Thus, the area of the triangle is

3

0 3

2

1

∆= 0 9 9

2

1 1 1

27

= sq. units

4

Example – 20

The slope of one of the two lines represented by ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0 is the square of the other. Prove that

a + b 8h 2

+ =6

h ab

LOCUS 39

Solution: Let the two slopes be m and m2; these are the roots of the quadratic

bM 2 + 2 hM = a = 0

so that

−2 h a

m + m2 = , m3 =

b b

Cubing the first relation, we have

−8h3

m3 + m6 + 3m3 (m + m 2 ) =

b3

a a 2 3a −2h −8h3

⇒ + + = 3

b b2 b b b

⇒ ba 2 + ab 2 + 8h 3 = 6hab

a + b 8h 2

⇒ + =6

h ab

_____________________________________________________________________________________

GENERAL EQUATION OF A PAIR OF LINES

Consider the equations of two arbitrary lines L1 and L2:

L1 : l1 x + m1 y + n1 = 0

L2 : l2 x + m2 y + n2 = 0

The joint equation of the two lines is

L1L2 = 0

⇒ (l1 x + m1 y + n1 )(l2 x + m2 y + n2 ) = 0

(1) suggests that the most general equation to a pair of straight lines has the form

ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0 ...(2)

It might be apparent to you that (2) will not always represent a pair of straight lines. For (2) to indeed represent a

pair of straight lines, it must be able to be factorised into two linear factors; as an exercise for the reader, show that

(2) can be expressed as a product of linear factors if the following condition is satisfied:

abc + 2 fgh − af 2 − bg 2 − ch 2 = 0

a h g

⇒ h b f =0

g f c

LOCUS 40

We now re-evaluate the conditions for parallel and perpendicular lines, in the general case :

Let L1 and L2 be two lines with slopes s1 and s2; their equations have already been mentioned above. L1 and L2 are

parallel if

s1 = s2

−l1 −l2

⇒ =

m1 m2

⇒ l1m2 = l2 m1

⇒ (l1m2 − l2 m1 ) =0

2

⇒ (l1m2 + l2 m1 ) = 4 l1 l2 m1 m2

2

...(3)

4h 2 = 4ab

⇒ h 2 = ab : Parallel lines

This is the same condition as the one for the homogenous case.

For L1 and L2 to be perpendicular,

s1 ⋅ s2 = −1

−l1 −l2

⇒ ⋅ = −1

m1 m2

⇒ l1l2 + m1m2 = 0

Again, this condition is the same as the one in the homogenous case.

If fact, you can verify that the angle θ subtended between the two lines is also given by the same formula as in the

homogenous case, i.e.,

2 h 2 − ab

tan θ =

a+b

That these formulae in the homogenous and the general case are the same should be obvious since the slope of any

line is independent of the constant term appearing in its equation.

Example – 21

Prove that the equation 6 x 2 + 13 xy + 6 y 2 + 8 x + 7 y + 2 = 0 represents a pair of straight lines. Find the point of

intersection and the angle between these two lines.

LOCUS 41

Solution: To show that this equation represents a pair of straight lines, we use the determinant condition mentioned

earlier:

13

6 4

a h g 2

13 7

h b f = 6

2 2

g f c

7

4 2

2

49 13 91

= 6 12 − + (14 − 13) + 4 − 24

4 2 4

3 13

= − + −5

2 2

=0

which confirms the stated assertion.

The angle between these two lines is given by

2 h 2 − ab

tan θ =

a+b

5

=

12

5

⇒ θ = tan −1

12

To find the point of intersection, we must factorise the joint equation to obtain the separate equations

of the lines. This task can be made easy be observing that since the homogenous part of the given

equation is

6 x 2 + 13 xy + 6 y 2 = 0

which can be factorised as

(2 x + 3 y )(3 x + 2 y ) = 0,

the actual factors of the (original) equation will be of the form

(2 x + 3 y + α ) (3 x + 2 y + β) = 0

Convince yourself about this argument. α and β can easily be evaluated using comparison of coefficients

to be 2 and 1 respectively. Thus, the two lines are

L1 : 2 x + 3 y + 2 = 0

L2 : 3x + 2 y + 1 = 0

1 −4

so that their point of intersection is, by solving this system of equations, , .

5 5

LOCUS 42

Example – 22

3 x 2 + 8 xy − 3 y 2 = 0

3 x 2 + 8 xy − 3 y 2 + 2 x − 4 y − 1 = 0

form a square. What is the length of the sides of the square ?

(3 x − y )( x + 3 y ) = 0

⇒ 3 x − y = 0, x + 3y = 0 ...(1)

These are perpendicular lines intersecting at the origin. As described in the previous example, the

second joint equation can be factorised as

(3 x − y + α ) ( x + 3 y + β) = 0

α = −1, β = 1

The other two sides are thus

3 x − y − 1 = 0, x + 3 y + 1 = 0 ...(2)

From (1) and (2), it should be evident that the four lines form a square. The length l of the sides of this

square can be evaluated by determining the perpendicular distance between any pair of opposite

sides, say 3 x − y = 0 and 3 x − y − 1 = 0 :

0 − (−1) 1

l= =

12 + 32 10

Example – 23

Find the joint equation of the angle bisectors of the lines represented by ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0.

Solution: Let the slopes of the two lines represented by ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0 be m1 and m2, so that m1 and m2

are the roots of the quadratic

bm 2 + 2 hm + a = 0

Thus,

−2h a

m1 + m2 = , m1m2 =

b b

LOCUS 43

It should be obvious that the angle bisectors will also pass through the origin, as shown below:

y

L2

A2 A1

L1

φ2 θ2 pair of lines while A1 and A2

θ1 φ1 are their angle bisectors

x

m1 = tanθ1

m 2 = tanθ2

Fig - 30

θ1 + θ2 π θ1 + θ2

φ1 = , φ2 = +

2 2 2

⇒ 2φ1 = θ1 + θ2 , 2φ2 = π + θ1 + θ2

tan θ1 + tan θ 2

=

1 − tan θ1 tan θ2

m1 + m2

=

1 − m1m2

2h

= ... (1)

a −b

y y

tan φ1 = or tan φ2 =

x x

2 xy We have used φ to

⇒ tan 2φ = represent both φ and φ

x − y2

2

1 2

x 2 − y 2 xy

=

a−b h

LOCUS 44

This is the joint equation of the angle bisectors; as expected, it is a second degree homogenous

equation.

As a corollary, suppose we are required to find the joint equation of the angle bisectors of the lines

L1 and L2 represented by

ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0

We first find the point of intersection of L1 and L2, say P (α, β). If we now shift our coordinate system

(translation) so that P is the origin (Refer to Appendix - 1), and denote the coordinates in the new

system by ( X , Y ), we will have the joint equation of the angle bisectors of L1 and L2 as

X 2 − Y 2 XY

=

a −b h

( x − α) 2 − ( y − β) 2 ( x − α)( y − β)

=

a −b h

____________________________________________________________________________________

We now discuss a very useful application of the concept of pair of straight lines.

S ( x, y ) ≡ ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0

and a straight line

L ≡ px + qy + r = 0

intersecting S = 0 in A and B. Let O be the origin.

What is the joint equation of OA and OB ?

y

equation of the pair

of straight lines

A OA and OB?

x

O

L=0

S(x, y) =0

Fig - 31

LOCUS 45

The insight that we use here is that since both OA and OB pass through the origin, their joint equation will be

homogenous. We now construct a homogenous equation and show that both A and B satisfy it; that equation is

then guaranteed to jointly represent OA and OB.

First of all, observe that since A and B satisfy the equation of L, i.e. px + qy + r = 0, they will also satisfy the

relation

px + qy

=1 : Both A and B will satisfy this relation.

−r

Now, we homogenize the equation of the second degree curve S ( x, y ) using the relation above; consider this

equation :

px + qy px + qy px + qy

2

ax + 2hxy + by + 2 gx

2 2

+ 2 fy + c =0 ...(1)

−r −r −r

Can you understand why we’ve done this? The equation we obtain above is a second degree homogenous equation,

and so it must represent two straight lines passing through the origin. Which two straight lines? Since A and B

px + qy

satisfy the equation of the original curve as well as the relation = 1, A and B both satisfy the homogenized

−r

equation in (1).

What does this imply ? That (1) is the joint equation of OA and OB!

Go over this discussion again if you find this confusing. You must fully understand the described technique which

will find very wide usage in subsequent chapters.

Example – 24

Find the joint equation of the straight lines passing through the origin O and the points of intersection of the line

3 x + 4 y − 5 = 0 and the curve 2 x 2 + 3 y 2 = 5.

Solution: One approach is of course to explicitly determine the two points of intersection, say A and B, writing

the equations of OA and OB, thereby obtaining the required joint equation. You are urged to do this as

an exercise.

However, we’ll use the homogenizing technique just described :

y

A We wish to determine

x the joint equation of

O OA and OB

2 2

2x + 3y = 5

Fig - 32

LOCUS 46

3x + 4 y

=1

5

and then using this relation to homogenize the equation of the curve :

3x + 4 y

2

2x + 3 y = 5

2 2

5

⇒ 10 x 2 + 15 y 2 = 9 x 2 + 16 y 2 + 24 xy

⇒ x 2 − 24 xy − y 2 = 0

Example – 25

Find the value of m, if the lines joining the origin O to the points of intersection A, B of y = 1 + mx and x 2 + y 2 = 1

are perpendicular.

Solution: The joint equation of OA and OB is

x 2 + y 2 = ( y − mx) 2

a+b = 0

which when applied to (1) yields

1 − m2 = 0

m = ±1

This example was more or less trivial and a little knowledge of circles would have enabled you to solve this

question without resorting to the homogenizing approach; however, the fact that this approach is very powerful in

many cases will become apparent in later examples.

LOCUS 47

TRY YOURSELF - II

Q. 1 Find the values(s) of m for which the following equation(s) represents a pair of straight lines:

(a) x 2 + λxy − 2 y 2 + 3 y − 1 = 0

(b) 4 x 2 + 10 xy + λy 2 + 5 x + 10 y = 0

Q. 2 Find the angle of intersection of the straight lines given by the equation

3 x 2 − 7 xy + 2 y 2 + 9 x + 2 y − 12 = 0

Q. 3 Show that the lines joining the origin to the points common to x 2 + hxy − y 2 + gx + fy = 0 and

fx − gy = λ are at right angles for all values of λ.

x y

Q. 5 Prove that the lines joining the origin to the points of intersection of the line + = 2 with the curve

h k

( x − h) 2 + ( y − k ) 2 = c 2 , are perpendicular if h 2 + k 2 = c 2 .

Q. 6 Find the joint equations of the straight lines passing through (1, 1) and parallel to the lines given by

x 2 − 5 xy + 4 y 2 + x + 2 y − 2 = 0.

Q. 7 Evaluate the point of intersection for the lines represented by the general equation

ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0.

Q. 8 Find the joint equation of the images of the pair of lines ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0 in the mirror y = 0.

Q. 9 Find the joint equation of the angle bisectors of the lines given by x 2 + 2 xy sec θ + y 2 = 0.

ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0

have a line in common, show that

ab′ − a′b

2

2

LOCUS 48

SOLVED EXAMPLES

Example – 1

Consider a fixed point O and n fixed straight lines. Through O, a (variable) line is drawn intersecting the fixed lines

in P1 , P2 ....., Pn . On this variable line, a point P is taken such that

n 1 1 1

= + + ..... + .

OP OP1 OP2 OPn

Solution:

P1 P2 P3 Pn A figure illustrating

O ... the situation described

L1 L2 L3 L n

Fig - 33

Li ≡ ai x + bi y + ci = 0, i = 1, 2,.....n

Let the slope of the variable line be represented by tan θ. Thus, the points Pi have the coordinates

−( hai + kbi + ci )

⇒ OPi =

ai cos θ + bi sin θ

LOCUS 49

n 1

=∑

NP OPi

n a cos θ + bi sin θ

⇒ = −∑ i

NP hai + kbi + ci

ai bi

= −∑ cos θ + −∑ sin θ

hai + kbi + ci hai + kbi + ci

= λ cos θ + µ sin θ

been doen for convenience

n λ ( x − h) µ ( y − k )

= +

OP OP OP

⇒ λ x + µy − ( λ h + µk + n ) = 0

Example – 2

Lines are drawn to intersect n concurrent lines at the points A1 , A2 ....., An such that

n

1

∑ OA

i =1

= constant

i

where O is the point of concurrency. Show that the variable lines all pass through a fixed point.

Solution: There’s no loss of generality in assuming O to be the origin since we are dealing only with lengths which

are invariant with respect to the choice of the coordinate axes.

Ln L2

L1

L A2 Li's are all fixed lines.

A1 L is the variable line

Fig - 34

LOCUS 50

The inclinations of the fixed lines can be assumed to be θi so that the points Ai have the coordinates

ax + by + c = 0

−c

⇒ OAi = ...(1)

a cos θi + b sin θi

n

1

∑ OA

i =1

= costant = K (say) ...(2)

i

n

a cos θi + b sin θi

∑

i =1 −c

=K

n n

∑ cos θi ∑ sin θi

a i =1 + b i =1 +c = 0

K K ...(3)

n n

∑ cos θi ∑ sin θ i

(3) shows that the variable line L always passes through the fixed point i =1 , i =1

.

K K

Example – 3

Prove that the centroid G of a triangle divides the line joining its circumcentre C and its orthocentre H in the

ratio 1 : 2.

LOCUS 51

Solution: To make our task simpler, we choose a coordinate frame in which the triangle’s vertices have coordinates

that are “easy” to work with. One such choice is shown below.

R(b,c)

x

P(-a,0) Q(a,0)

Fig - 35

−a + a + b b

The centroid G(xG , yG ): xG = =

3 3

0+0+c c

yG = =

3 3

b c

⇒ G≡ ,

3 3

The ⊥ B of PQ is

x=0

c

Since the slope of PR is , the equation of the ⊥ B

b+a

of PR is

c b + a b−a

y− = − x −

2 c 2

b2 − a2 + c2

C ≡ 0,

2c

LOCUS 52

x=b

Let find the altitude from Q onto PR:

b+a

y −0 = − ( x − a)

c

b2 − a 2

H ≡ b, −

c

b2 − a 2 b2 − a2 + c2

×

1 − +

2 ×

1× b + 2 × 0 , c 2c ≡b, c

3 3 3 3

Example – 4

a1 x + b1 y + c1 = 0; a1 x + b1 y + d1 = 0

a2 x + b2 y + c2 = 0; a2 x + b2 y + d2 = 0

Find also the condition for this parallelogram to be a rhombus.

Solution:

a1x + b1y + d1 = 0

d2 = 0

c2 = 0

b2 y +

b2 y +

area of this

parallelogram.

a2 x +

a2 x +

α

a1x + b1y + c1 = 0

Fig - 36

LOCUS 53

We first consider a little geometry for this parallelogram. Let the parallelogram have sides a and b and

let the perpendicular distances between its opposite sides be p1 and p2:

p1

b

p2

α

a

Fig - 37

p2

= ⋅ p1 (∵ p2 = a sin α)

sin α

p1 p2

= ...(1)

sin α

Thus, the area of the parallelogram can be expressed using the perpendicular distances between its

opposite sides rather than using the length of the sides. This is good for us since we already know how

to evaluate the perpendicular distance between two parallel lines.

c1 − d1

⇒ p1 = ...(2)

a12 + b12

c2 − d 2

⇒ p2 = ...(3)

a22 + b22

Also,

a1 a2

− −−

tan α = b1 b2

aa

1+ 1 2

b1b2

a1b2 − a2b1

=

a1a2 + b1b2

LOCUS 54

so that

a1b2 − a2 b1

sin α = ...(4)

(a12 + b12 )(a22 + b22 )

(c1 − d1 )(c2 − d 2 )

A=

(a1b2 − a2 b1 )

Now, the parallelogram is a rhombus if its diagonals are perpendicular, which also means that the

distances between its opposite sides are equal, i.e.

p1 = p2

c1 − d1 c2 − d 2

⇒ =

a12 + b12 a22 + b22

Example – 5

A rod AB of length l slides with its end on the coordinate axes. Let O be the origin. The rectangle OAPB is

completed. Find the locus of the foot of the perpendicular drawn from P onto AB.

Solution:

A P

We need to find the locus

of F as AB slides between

F

the axes

l

θ x

O B

Fig - 38

LOCUS 55

The equation of AB is

h = l cos3 θ, k = l sin 3 θ

1/ 3 1/ 3

h k

⇒ cos θ = , sin θ =

l l

Eliminating θ, we have

h2 / 3 + k 2 / 3 = l 2 / 3

Thus, the locus of F is

x2 / 3 + y 2 / 3 = l 2 / 3

Example – 6

(a) Consider a line segment AB where A ≡ ( x1 , y1 ) and B ≡ ( x2 , y2 ). In what ratio does a line

L ≡ ax + by + c = 0 divide AB?

1 B(x2, y2)

λ C

A ( x 1 , y1 )

L = ax + by + c = 0

Fig - 40

The coordinates of C are (from the internal division formula),

λx + x λy + y1

C ≡ 2 1, 2

λ +1 λ +1

Since this lies on L, we have

λx + x λy + y

a 2 1 + b 2 1 + c = 0

λ +1 λ +1

⇒ λ(ax2 + by2 + c) + (ax1 + by1 + c) = 0

− ax1 + by1 + c

⇒ λ=

ax2 + by2 + c

LOCUS 56

L( x1 , y1 )

⇒ λ=−

L( x2 , y2 )

This is a useful result (as we’ll see from part(b), the next example) and it would be worth memorizing

it.

Example – 6

(b) A line intersects BC, CA and AB in ∆ABC at P, Q and R respectively. Show that

BP CQ AR

⋅ ⋅ = −1

PC QA RB

Solution:

A ( x 1 , y1 )

L=0

Q

B C (x 3 , y3 )

(x2, y2) P

R

Fig - 39

AR L( x1 , y1 )

=− ...(1)

RB L ( x2 , y 2 )

BP L( x2 , y2 )

=− ...(2)

PC L( x3 , y3 )

CQ L( x3 , y3 )

=− ...(3)

QA L ( x1 , y1 )

From (1), (2) and (3), it should be evident that the assertion stated in the question is valid.

Example – 7

The curves

C1 : a1 x 2 + 2h1 xy + b1 y 2 + 2 g1 x = 0

C2 : a2 x 2 + 2h2 xy + b2 y 2 + 2 g 2 x = 0

intersect at two points A and B other than the origin. Find the condition for OA and OB to be perpendicular.

LOCUS 57

Solution: Assume the equation of AB to be y = mx + c. Thus, using the homogenizing technique, we can write

the joint equation of OA and OB:

y − mx

Homogenizing C1: a1 x 2 + 2h1 xy + b1 y 2 + 2 g1 x =0

c

2mg1 2 2 g1 xy

⇒ a1 − x + 2h1 xy + b1 y +

2

=0

c c

perpendicular if

2mg1

a1 − + b1 = 0

c

m a1 + b1

⇒ = ...(1)

c 2 g1

and OB by homogenizing the equation of C2 :

2mg 2 2 2 g 2 xy

a2 − x + 2h2 xy + b2 y + =0

2

c c

2mg 2

a2 − + b2 = 0

c

m a2 + b2

⇒ = ...(2)

c 2g2

a1 + b1 a2 + b2

=

g1 g2

Example – 8

Find the orthocentre of the triangle formed by the lines ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 = 0 and px + qy = 1.

LOCUS 58

Solution: The two lines given by the joint equation pass through the origin. Assume their slopes to be m1 and m2

so that m1 and m2 are the roots of

bm 2 + 2 hm + a = 0

2h a

⇒ m1 + m2 = − , m1m2 = ...(1)

b b

y = m2 x

N y = m1 x

M px +qy = 1

O x

Fig - 41

To evaluate the orthocentre, we need two altitudes. We take one of them to be the one dropped from

O onto MN.

qx − py = 0 ...(2)

Let us now find the altitude from M onto ON. The coordinates of M are, by solving y = m1 x and

px + qy = 1 simultaneously,

1 m1

M ≡ ,

p + qm1 p + qm1

1

The slope of ON is m2 so that the slope of the altitude through M is − m ; thus, its equation is

2

m1 −1 1

y− = x−

p + qm1 m2 p + qm1

x 1 + m1m2

⇒ +y=

m2 m2 ( p + qm1 )

1 + m1m2

⇒ x + m2 y = ...(3)

p + qm1

LOCUS 59

p (1 + m1m2 )

h=

( p + qm1 )( p + qm2 )

p (1 + m1m2 )

=

p + pq ( m1 + m2 ) + q 2 m1m2

2

p (a + b)

=

bp − 2hpq + aq 2

2

q

k= .h (from (1))

p

q ( a + b)

=

bp − 2hpq + aq 2

2

p ( a + b) q ( a + b)

2 , 2

bp − 2hpq + aq bp − 2hpq + aq

2 2

Example – 9

λ( x3 − 3 xy 2 ) + y 3 − 3 x 2 y = 0

represents three straight lines equally inclined to one another.

Solution: Observe that since the equation is homogenous, it will represent three straight lines passing through the

origin. Let the slopes of the three lines be m1 , m2 and m3 .

y

λ(1 − 3m 2 ) + m3 − 3m = 0 where m =

x

3m − m3

⇒ =λ

1 − 3m2

LOCUS 60

y

Since m = = tan θ, where θ is the inclination of the line, we have

x

3 tan θ − tan 3 θ

λ= = tan 3θ

1 − 3 tan 2 θ

⇒ tan 3θ = λ

⇒ 3θ = nπ + tan −1 λ

nπ + tan −1 λ

⇒ θ=

3

Since there are three lines corresponding to the joint equation, we’ll have three corresponding angles

of inclination

tan −1 λ π 2π

θ1 = , θ2 = + tan −1 λ, θ3 = + tan −1 λ

3 3 3

The angles of inclination show that the three lines are equally inclined to one another.

y

L2

L3

π

3

π

θ3

3

θ2

L1

π

θ1

3

Fig - 42 v

Example – 10

Show that all the chords of the curve 3 x 2 − y 2 − 2 x + 4 y = 0 which subtend a right angle at the origin pass through

a fixed point. Find that point.

LOCUS 61

Solution: Let y = mx + c be a chord of the curve which subtends a right angle at the origin. The joint equation

of the lines joining the origin to points of intersection of y = mx + c and the curve is

y − mx

3 x 2 − y 2 + (4 y − 2 x) =0

c

This represents two perpendicular lines if

Coeff. of x 2 + Coeff. of y 2 = 0

2m 4

3+ + −1 = 0

c c

⇒ c+m+2 = 0

⇒ ( −2) = m(1) + c ...(1)

(1) shows that y = mx + c always passes through the fixed point (–2, 1).

LOCUS 62

ASSIGNMENT

[ LEVEL - I ]

1. Through the origin O, a (variable) line is drawn to cut the lines y = m1 x + c1 and y = m2 x + c2 at Q

and R. Let there be a point P on this variable line such that OP is the geometric mean of OQ and OR.

Find the locus of P.

2. Find the condition so that the pair of straight lines joining the origin to the points of intersection of

y = mx + c and the circle x 2 + y 2 = a 2 may be perpendicular.

3. A line drawn through the origin intersects the lines 2 x + y − 2 = 0 and x − 2 y + 2 = 0 in A and B. Let

M be the mid-point of AB. Show that the locus of M is 2 x 2 − 3 xy − 2 y 2 + x + 3 y = 0.

4. Show that the reflection of the line ax + by + c = 0, a ≠ b in the line x + y + 1 = 0 is the line

bx + ay + ( a + b − c ) = 0.

5. Find the angle between the straight lines given by ( x 2 + y 2 )sin 2 α = ( x cos θ − y sin θ)2 .

7. Let ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0 represent a pair of parallel straight lines. Prove that the

g 2 − ac f 2 − bc

distance between these lines is d = 2 =2 .

a ( a + b) b( a + b)

8. If the equation 2hxy + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0 represents two straight lines, show that they form a rectangle

fg

of area with the coordinate axes.

h2

[ LEVEL - II ]

9. A straight line is such that the algebraic sum of the perpendiculars drawn upon it from any number of

fixed points is zero. Show that it always passes through a fixed point.

a1a2 + b1b2 < 0 ⇒ The angle of intersection at P containing the origin is acute.

a1a2 + b1b2 > 0 ⇒ The angle of intersection at P containing the origin is obtuse.

LOCUS 63

a a a

11. Show that there exists a point equidistant from the four points am1 , , am2 , , am3 ,

m1 m2 m3

a

and , am1m2 m3 .

m1m2 m3

12. The vertices of triangle are ( xi , xi tan θi ), i = 1, 2,3. The circumcentre of this triangle is the origin and

its orthocentre is ( a, b). Show that

a cos θ1 + cos θ2 + cos θ3

= .

b sin θ1 + sin θ2 + sin θ3

13. A rectangle PQRS has its side PQ parallel to the line y = mx and the vertices P, Q and S lie on the

lines y = a, x = b and x = −b respectively. Find the locus of R.

d ( P, Q) = x1 − x2 + y1 − y2

Let O ≡ (0, 0) and A ≡ (3, 2). Prove that the set of points in the first quadrant which are

equi-M-distant from O and A, consists of the union of a line segment of finite length and an infinite ray.

Sketch this set.

15. The sides of a triangle are Li ≡ x cos αi + y sin α i = pi , i = 1, 2,3. Prove that the orthocentre of this

triangle satisfies

2c

a pair of straight lines, prove that the area of the parallelogram they enclose is .

h 2 − ab

17. Find the area of the triangle formed by the lines given by ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0 and

the x-axis.

18. If ax 2 + 2hxy + by 2 + 2 gx + 2 fy + c = 0 represents two straight lines, prove that the product of the

c

perpendiculars drawn from the origin to these lines is .

( a − b) 2 + 4h 2

19. A line L through the origin meets x + y = 1 and x + y = 3 at P and Q respectively. Through P and Q,

two straight lines L1 and L2 are drawn parallel to 2 x − y = 5 and 3 x + y = 5 respectively. The lines L1

and L2 intersect in R. As L varies, show that the locus of R is a straight line.

V ≡ l ′x + m′y + n′. Show that the equation of the diagonal through the intersection points of

U = a, V = a′ and U = b, V = b′ is given by

U V 1

a a′ 1 = 0

b b′ 1

LOCUS 64

APPENDIX

TRANSFORMA TION OF COORDIN

TRANSFORMATION COORDINAATES

Suppose that a person A is flying a kite from the ground while another person B is observing this kite from the top

of a building, as shown below:

y

Y

B (H, K)

X

A

x

(0,0)

Fig - 44

In A's frame of reference, the coordinates of B are ( H , K ). Now suppose that A and B both specify the position

of the kite relative to themselves. It should be evident that the coordinates of the kite in the two reference frames

will be different.

Let the coordinates of the kite be ( x, y ) in A's reference frame and ( X , Y ) in B's reference frame. Then, we have

X = x− H, Y = y−K ...(1)

Thus, a translation of the axes implies a corresponding change in the coordinates in the manner specified by (1).

In fact, if the kite traces a path f ( x, y ) = 0 in A's reference frame, it will trace the path f ( X + H , Y + K ) = 0 in

B's frame of reference.

LOCUS 65

Translation of axes implies a simple shift in the origin without a change in the relative orientation of the axes. We

now consider the case when the axes is rotated but the origin is the same

Y

A

θ x

Fig - 45

Let a point A have the coordinates ( x, y ) in the original frame of reference and ( X , Y ) in the rotated frame of

reference. Verify that the following relations hold true :

x = X cos θ − Y sin θ

y = X sin θ + Y cos θ

We can now combine the case of translation and rotation of axes to determine the most general transformed

coordinates. Let the origin of the axes be shifted to ( h, k ) and the axes be rotated by an anticlockwise angle θ.

The original coordinates ( x, y ) and the coordinates in the new frame of reference ( X , Y ) will satisfy the relations

- x = h + X cos θ − Y sin θ

y = k + X sin θ + Y cos θ

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