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The Midpoint Formula (page 1 of 2)
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 xvalues 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' x- and yvalues, 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: All Rights Reserved Copyright © Elizabeth Stapel 2000-2011
This reduces to needing to figure out what p is, in order to make the xvalues work:
. Don't be . –1.2. so this line is close to being a bisector (as a picture would indicate).9) and (8.8. • Is y = 2 x – 4. and is actually typical of problems you will probably encounter at some point when you're learning about straight lines. but only the algebracan give me an exact answer..5 But I needed y to equal 1.9) and(8.1)? If I just graph this.4. I'll apply the Midpoint Formula: Now I'll check to see if this point is on the line: y = 2x – 4.So the answer is p = –3. this is not a bisector. So the answer is "No. Let's do some more examples. it's going to look like the answer is "yes"." • Find the perpendicular bisector of the line segment with endpoints at (–1. it can give me an idea of what is going on.1). but it is not exactly a bisector (as the algebra proves). –1. and then see if the midpoint is actually a point on the given line.9 y = 2(3.2. 3.4 – 4.2) – 4.9 a bisector of the line segment with endpoints at (–1.8.9 = 6. 3. But I have to remember that a picture can suggest an answer.9 = 1. Copyright © Elizabeth Stapel 2000-2011 All Rights Reserved This is a multi-part problem. First. 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.. So I'll need to find the midpoint.
With the slope and a point (the midpoint.4 = 2x – 6.4 = 2x – 6.4 + 1. and change the sign". and then later. I need to find the midpoint. in this case).4 = 2(x – 3. I need to find the midpoint of the two given endpoints: ( [–4 + 0] /2 . I'll apply the Midpoint Formula: Now I need to find the slope of the line segment. Then the slope of the perpendicular bisector will be + 2/1 = 2. Since the center is at the midpoint of any diameter. [3 + 2] /2 ) = ( –4/2 . I can find the equation of the line: y y y y • – 1. Remember that "negative reciprocal" means "flip it. 3) and (0. I need this slope in order to find the perpendicular slope.surprised if you see this kind of question on a test! Here's how to answer it: First. perpendicular or otherwise.4 = 2x – 5 Find the center of the circle with a diameter having endpoints at (–4.2) – 1. 2). I'll apply the Slope Formula: The perpendicular slope (for my perpendicular bisector) is the negative reciprocal of the slope of the line segment. must pass through the midpoint. out of . You will have some simple "plug-nchug" problems when the concept is first introduced. since any bisector.5) These examples really are fairly typical. 2. 5/2 ) = (–2.
except it will be buried in some other type of problem. . Essentially. Midpoint Formula The Midpoint forumla is used when you need the point that is exactly between two other points. they'll hit you with the concept again. so you'll know to remember the Formula for later.the blue. I'm telling you this now. The midpoint formula is applied when you need to find a line that bisects a specific line segment. the 'middle point' is called the "midpoint".
we . To do this. We will also develop a general formula for determining the coordinates of the midpoint and go through several examples. 2) and (3. Suppose it is desired to find the midpoint between the points (1. we first look at a number line and find the midpoint between x = 1 and x = 3. The principle that we apply will give us a general formula for the midpoint between any two points with given coordinates. -2) shown on the gridbelow.` Midpoint Formula In this lesson. the midpoint between two points whose coordinates are known will be found. The point that is exactly halfway between 1 and 3 on this one-dimensionalnumber line is 2. This can be found by averaging the 2 coordinates: If we apply the averaging strategy to our two points.
is given . 0). the midpoint between (1. 10) is (–4. 40)? We apply the midpoint formula: ii. 6) and (– 12.have: x = . Therefore. 7). 2) and (3. what is the value of x? We apply the midpoint formula for the 1st coordinate: which gives us x = – 9. 4) and (x. The Midpoint Formula: We can generalize the method used above. . If the midpoint between (1.” Let's practice: i. –2) is (2. This is known as “the midpoint What is the midpoint between the points (5. The midpoint between any two points by formula.
n geometry. is: . with endpoints (x1. the midpoint is the middle point of a line segment. y2) in Cartesian coordinates. Contents [ hide] • • • • • • • 1 Formulas 2 Construction 3 Deriving the formula 4 Generalizations 5 See also 6 References 7 External links  Formulas The formula for determining the midpoint of two points x1 and x2 on a line is: The formula for determining the midpoint of a segment in the plane. y1) and (x2. It is equidistant from both endpoints. a midpoint is known as class mark. In statistics and use of histograms.
z2) is: More generally. Find its coordinates and use the Distance Formula to verify that it is in fact the midpoint of QT . then the midpoint. y2) respectively. with endpoints (x1. . y2. of AB is given by the following formula (Midpoint Formula). the midpoint of an interval is Theorem 102: If the coordinates of A and B are ( x1. −1) and T(−3.The formula for determining the midpoint of a segment in the space. for an n-dimensional space with axes given by: . z1) and (x2. M. y1. 7). y1) and ( x2. R is the midpoint between Q(−9. Example 1: In Figure 1 .
By the Midpoint Formula.Figure Finding the coordinates of the midpoint of a line 1 segment. .
−1). 8) and A is (12. y). . T. Because QR = TR and Q. Multiply each side of each equation by 2. Let the coordinates of B be ( x. find the coordinates of B.By the Distance Formula. and R are collinear. Then by the Midpoint Formula. R is the midpoint of QT Example 2: If the midpoint of AB is (−3.
−6 = 12 +x −18 = x and and 16 = −1 + y 17 = y Therefore. the coordinates of B are (−18. 17) .
just draw points on a graph. y2)] = √[(x2 x1)2 + (y2 y1)2] To calculate the distance. How is it so? To understand that. the perpendiculars drawn from the points and the segment joining the two points form a right angled triangle. The formula for calculating distance on a graph is based on the Pythagoras theorem. y1). Now draw perpendiculars from both points on both the axes. The X-coordinate is the distance of the point from the Y axis and Y-coordinate is the distance of the point from the X axis. Let the graph have a reference frame in the form of the X and Y axes intersecting with each other at the origin. B (x2. Every point will have an X-Coordinate and a Y-coordinate. Then using the above formula. You . you must know the coordinates of the two points. Here is the distance between two points formula for a graph. Then draw a straight line joining the two points. you can easily calculate the distance.Distance Between Two Points On a Graph Let us begin with the simplest case of finding the distance between points on a graph. you can easily calculate the distance. The distance between the two points is the length of the hypotenuse of the triangle. As you can see. So using the Pythagorean theorem formula . Distance Between Two Points [A(x1.
can create a 'distance between two points' calculator by doing a bit of programming in C and using the Pythagorean theorem formula above. z1). you will have to know three coordinates instead of two. though it is not). Measuring Distance On a Sphere Can the above formulas be used for calculating distance between two points on a sphere? No. z2)] = √[(x2 x1)2 + (y2 y1)2 + (z2 z1)2] The knowledge of three coordinates of both points will enable you to calculate distance. It has a 'Curvature' which makes calculation difficult. y2. absolutely not! That is because a sphere is not a flat surface and Euclidean geometry is not applicable there. The data you need is the knowledge of latitude and longitude of . but what if the two points are situated on a three dimensional grid? To locate a point on this grid. Measuring Distance on a 3D Cartesian Grid The above formula can be used when you are calculating distance on a two dimensional graph. B(x2. This formula can be used to calculate the great circle distance between two places on Earth (assuming the Earth is perfectly spherical. y1. Here it is: Distance Between Two Points [A(x1. That is why a complicated formula is required for calculating this distance. The formula for calculating this distance is a modification of the Pythagoras theorem formula for three dimensions.
sin a2 cos a1 cos Δb)2] and B = sin a2 sin a1 + cos a2 cos a1 cos Δb Here Δb = (b 1 .both those points and the radius of the sphere. The points are P (a 1 . I can understand that your head may be spinning after reading this formula but there is no way that you can make it simpler. b 2 ) where a and b are latitude and longitude coordinates. Using it. calculating the volume of a sphere is simpler. The formula is as follows: Distance Between Two Points on a Sphere (D) = R x Δσ where r is the radius of the sphere and Δσ is the central angle subtended by the two points with the center of the sphere.b 2 ). Hope this article has cleared all your confusion . b 1 ) and Q (a 2 . you can calculate the shortest distance between any two points on Earth only if you know basic trignomtery and understand what the above math terms mean. Δσ is calculated by using the following complicated formula (Also known as the Vincenty formula): Δσ = arctan (A/B) where A = √[(cos a1 sin Δb)2 + (cos a2 sin a1 . Compared to the calculation below. While using the formula convert the latitude and longitudes into radians before substituting values.
regarding calculation of distance between two points. Here's how we get from the one to the other: Suppose you're given the two points (–2. All you need to do is plug in the coordinates in the formulas provided above and calculate diligently. 5). The Distance Formula (page 1 of 2) The Distance Formula is a variant of the Pythagorean Theorem that you used back in geometry. using these points as two of the corners: . and they want you to find out how far apart they are. 1) and (1. The points look like this: You can draw in the lines that form a right-angled triangle.
. Given two points. y1) and (x2.so: Copyright © Elizabeth Stapel 2000-2011 All Rights Reserved This format always holds true. you can always plot them. it can be turned into a formula: Distance Formula: Given the two points (x1. Since this format always works.. draw the right triangle.It's easy to find the lengths of the horizontal and vertical sides of the right triangle: just subtract the x-values and the y-values: Then use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the length of the third side (which is the hypotenuse of the right triangle): c2 = a2 + b2 . and then find the length of the hypotenuse. y2). The length of the hypotenuse is the distance between the two points. the distance between these points is given by the formula: .
not after.28. If you get in the habit of omitting the square root and then "remembering" to put it back in when you check your answers in the back of the book. I just plug the coordinates into the Distance Formula: Then the distance is sqrt (53). and you'll miss easy points. The most common mistake made when using the Formula is to accidentally mismatch the x-values andy-values. The distance will be the same. 4). or vice versa. don't get careless with the square-root symbol. rounded to two decimal places. You also don't want to be careless with the squaring inside the Formula. Also. Be careful you don't subtract an x from a y. They only indicate that there is a "first" point and a "second" point. that you have two points. or about 7. regardless. make sure you've paired the numbers properly. • Find the distance between the points (–2. then you'll forget the square root on the test. and remember that the square is on everything inside the .Don't let the subscripts scare you. – 3) and (–4. Whichever one you call "first" or "second" is up to you. Remember that you simplify inside the parentheses before you square. that is.
By the way. like this: Distance between coordinates) two points (given their Given the coordinates of two points. As you drag. the distance D between the points is given by: where dx is the difference between the xcoordinates of the points and dy is the difference between the y-coordinates of the points Try this Drag the point A or B. it is almost always better to leave the answer in "exact" form (the square root " " above). do both. . so the square of a negative is a positive. If you're not sure which format is preferred. The formula above can be used to find the distance between two points when you know the coordinates of the points . This distance is also the length of the line segment linking the two points. Rounding is usually reserved for the last step of word problems.parentheses. the length of the line segment linking them is continuously recalculated. including the minus sign.
click 'reset' and the "Show Triangle" checkbox. For a horizontal line. the line segment AB is the hypotenuse of a right triangle. As you can see. and the other is dy . In the figure above make a vertical and horizontal line and verify this for yourself. we know that AB 2 = dx 2 + dy 2 Solving this for AB gives us the formula: Calculator Vertical and horizontal lines If the line segment is exactly vertical or horizontal. In the figure above. where one side is dx . its length is the difference between the x-coordinates. Calculate dx. The x- . 2.the difference in y-coordinates.20) its xcoordinate is the first number or 15. In the figure above. press 'reset'. From Pythagoras' Theorem.the difference in x-coordinates. the formula above will still work fine. Example 1. the difference in the points xcoordinates. For a vertical line its length is the difference between the ycoordinates. but there is an easier way. Since A is at (15.This formula is simply a use of Pythagoras' Theorem.
20) its ycoordinate is the second number or 20. 4. The ycoordinate of B is 5. So the difference (dx) is 20. Plugging these into the formula we get .coordinate of B is 35. So the difference (dy) is 15. 3. Calculate dy. the difference in the points ycoordinates. Since A is at (15.
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