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7. DIRECTION RATIOS AND DIRECTION COSINES
Synopsis :
1. If a directed line (ray) makes angle a, b, g with positive directions of the axes of x,y and z respectively the cosa, cosa, cosg are called the direction cosines (d.c’s) of the line and these are usually denoted by l,m,n. A line in a space can be extended in two directions, it has two sets of direction cosines. If ( l , m, n ) is one set then other set is . Here ( −l , −m, −n ) i) ii) iii) 3. i) ii) iii) 4. 5. 6. 7.
l 2 + m2 + n2 = 1

2.

cos 2 α + cos 2 β + cos 2 γ = 1
sin 2 α + sin 2 β + sin 2 γ = 2 x – axis are (1,0,0) y – axis are (0,1,0) z – axis are (0,0,1)

Direction cosines of

If (l, m, n) are direction cosines of a line OP where 'O' is the origin and OP = r then the coordinates P are (lr, mr, nr). If the coordinates of a point P are (x,y, z) and OP=r then the direction Cosines of OP are (x/r, y/r/ z/r). If A = ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and B = ( x2 , y2 , z2 ) then AB d.cs

x1 − x2 y1 − y2 z1 − z2 are , , AB AB AB

If θ is the angle between the two lines whose d.cs are l1 , m1 , n1 and l2 , m2 , n2 then

i) ii) iii) iv) 8.

cos θ = l1l2 + m1m2 + n1n2

sin θ = Σ [l1m2 − l2 m1 ]

2

if the lines are perpendicular l1l2 + m1m2 + n1n2 = 0 then If the lines are parallel then

l1 m1 n1 = = . l2 m2 n2
l m n = = then are called a b c

If are the d.cs of the line AB and a,b,c are three numbers such that the direction ratios (d.rs) of the line AB.

9.

If a,b,c are the d.rs of the line AB then the d.cs of the line AB are

a a +b +c
2 2 2

,

b a +b +c
2 2 2

,

c a + b2 + c2
2

(or) −a a +b +c
2 2 2

,

−b a +b +c
2 2 2

,

−c a + b2 + c2
2

1

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Direction Ratios and Direction Cosines

10. 11.

If A = ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and B = ( x2 , y2 , z2 ) then the d.rs of AB are x1 − x2 , y1 − y2 , z1 − z2 If θ is the angle between the two lines whose d.rs are a1 , b1 , c1 and a2 , b2 , c2 then
i)

cos θ =

a1a2 + b1b2 + c1c2 a12 + b12 + c12
2 2 2 a2 + b2 + c2
2

ii) iii) iv)

sin θ =

Σ ( a1b2 − a2b1 ) a12 + b12 + c12

2 2 2 a2 + b2 + c2

if the lines are perpendicular a1a2 + b1b2 + c1c2 = 0 then if the lines are parallel then

constant. Where k ∈ R − {0}
12. 13. 14.

a1 b1 c1 (or) ( a1 , b1 , c1 ) = k ( a2 , b2 , c2 ) where k is a = = a2 b2 c2

If a1 , b1 , c1 and a2 , b2 , c2 are the d.rs of the lines AB and AC then the d.rs of the line perpendicular to both AB and AC are b1c2 − b2 c1 , c1a2 − c2 a1 , a1b2 − a2b1 . If l1 , m1 , n1 and l2 , m2 , n2 are the d.cs of the lines AB and AC then the d.rs of the bisectors of the angles between AB and AC are l1 + l2 , m1 + m2 , n1 + n2 and l1 − l2 , m1 − m2 , n1 − n2 If θ is the angle between two lines whose d.cs are l1 , m1 , n1 and l2 , m2 , n2 then the d.cs of their l1 + l2 m1 + m2 n1 + n2 , , angular bisectors are ⎛θ ⎞ ⎛θ ⎞ ⎛θ ⎞ 2 cos ⎜ ⎟ 2 cos ⎜ ⎟ 2 cos ⎜ ⎟ ⎝2⎠ ⎝2⎠ ⎝2⎠

And

l1 − l2 m − m2 n −n , 1 , 1 2 ⎛θ ⎞ ⎛θ ⎞ ⎛θ ⎞ 2sin ⎜ ⎟ 2sin ⎜ ⎟ 2sin ⎜ ⎟ ⎝2⎠ ⎝2⎠ ⎝2⎠

15. 16.

The projection of a point on a line is the foot of the perpendicular from that point to the line. If A = ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and B = ( x2 , y2 , z2 ) then the projection of AB on the line whose d.cs are l , m, n is l ( x1 − x2 ) + m ( y1 − y2 ) + n ( z1 − z2 ) If A = ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and B = ( x2 , y2 , z2 ) then
i) ii) iii)

17.

the projection of AB on the x-axis is x1 − x2 the projection of AB on the y-axis is y1 − y2 the projection of AB on the z-axis is z1 − z2

18.

If A = ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and B = ( x2 , y2 , z2 ) then
i) ii)

the projection of AB on the yoz plane is the projection of AB on the zox plane is

( y1 − y2 ) + ( z1 − z2 )
2

2

( z1 − z2 ) + ( x1 − x2 )
2

2

2

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Direction Ratios and Direction Cosines
iii) 19. i)

the projection of AB on the xoy plane is
2 respectively, then d12 + d 2 + d32 = d 2

( x1 − x2 ) + ( y1 − y2 )
2

2

If the projections of a line of length ‘d’ on the coordinate axes are d1 , d 2 & d3 If the projections of a line of length ‘d’ on the coordinate planes are d1 , d 2 & d3

ii)

2 respectively, then d12 + d 2 + d32 = 2d 2

20.

The d.rs of two lines are given by the equations al + bm + cn = 0 and fmn + gnl + hlm = 0 . If the f g h two lines are perpendicular then + + = 0 . If the two lines are parallel then a b c af + bg + ch = 0

21.

The d.rs of two lines are given by the equations al + bm + cn = 0 and ul 2 + vm 2 + wn 2 = 0 . If the two lines are perpendicular then Σ ( a 2 ( v + w ) ) = 0 . If the two lines are parallel then
a2 b2 c2 + + =0 u v w

22.

The equation of the line joining the points ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) and ( x2 , y2 , z2 ) is x − x1 y − y1 z − z1 = = = t where t is a parameter. Here any point on the line is x2 − x1 y2 − y1 z2 − z1 ⎡ x1 + t ( x2 − x1 ) , y1 + t ( y2 − y1 ) , z1 + t ( z2 − z1 ) ⎤ ⎣ ⎦ If a, b, c are the d.rs of the line passing through the point ( x1 , y1 , z1 ) then the equation of that line is x − x1 y − y1 z − z1 = = a b c

23.

24.

2 2 Lagrange’s identity: If l1, m1 , n1 , l2 , m2 , n2 are real numbers then ( l12 + m12 + n12 ) ( l22 + m2 + n2 )

− ( l1l2 + m1m2 + n1n2 )
2

2

= ( m1n2 − m2 n1 ) + ( n1l2 − n2l1 ) + ( l1m2 − l2 m1 )
2

2

25. 26. 27.

⎛1⎞ Angle between any two diagonals of a cube is cos −1 ⎜ ⎟ ⎝ 3⎠ Angle between diagonal of a cube and diagonal of a face of a cube is are angles made by a ray with four diagonals of a cube, then 4 cos 2 α + cos 2 β + cos 2 γ + cos 2 δ = 3
⎛ 1 ⎞ If a line makes equal angles with the coordinate axes, then the line make an angle cos −1 ⎜ ⎟ ⎝ 3⎠ ⎛ 2⎞ or tan −1 2 or sin −1 ⎜ ⎜ 3⎟ ⎟ ⎝ ⎠

If α , β , γ , δ

28.

( )

3

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