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# 1 Angles and distances in space

1.1 Angles:
1. the angle between two lines (d
1
) and (d
2
) is the angle between their
directing vectors
1
and
2
, and its cosine can be obtained by means of
the dot product
1

2
:
cos c =

1

2
k
1
k k
2
k
.
2. the angle between a line and a plane is equal to 90
o
minus the angle
between the directing vector of the line and the normal vector

of the
plane:
cos(90
o
c) = sinc =

k k

.
3. the angle between two planes is the same as the angle between their
normal vectors

1
and

2
:
cos c =

.
1.2 Distances in space
1. the distance between two points and 1 is, by denition, the norm
of the vector
!
1, that is:
di:t(, 1) =

!
1

=
p
(r
B
r
A
)
2
+ (j
B
j
A
)
2
+ (.
B
.
A
)
2
.
2. the distance between a point '(r
0
, j
0
, .
0
) and a line (d) :
r r
1
|
=
j j
1
:
=
. .
1
:
is expressed as the altitude in the parallelogram built on
the vectors ''
1
and (|, :, :) (where '
1
(r
1
, j
1
, .
1
) denotes a point on
the line):
di:t(', d) =

''
1

k k
.
distance point-line
1
3. the distance between a point '(r
0
, j
0
, .
0
) and a plane () : r +
1j +C. +1 = 0 is given by
di:t(', ()) =
jr
0
+1j
0
+C.
0
+1
0
j
p

2
+1
2
= C
2
.
4. the minimum distance between two skew (=non-coplanar) lines
in space is expressed as the altitude from '
1
in the parallelepiped built
on the vectors '
1
'
2
,
1
and
2
, where '
i
and
i
denote a point and the
directing vector of the straight line (d
i
), i = 1, 2 :
di:t((d
1
), (d
2
)) =

('
1
'
2
,
1
,
2
)

k
1

2
k
.
minimum distance between skew lines
Exercise 1 Let (2, 1, 3), 1(1, 2, 3), (d) :
r
1
=
j
2
=
.
2
and () : 4r+3. 1 =
0. Find:
1. the distances di:t(, 1), di:t(, (d)), di:t(, ());
2. the angle between the line 1 and, (d), respectively, ().
3. the angle between (d) and ();
4. the minimum distance between the lines 1 and (d).
5. the intersection point between (d) and ().
Exercise 2 Write the equation of a plane:
1. through the point O(0, 0, 0) and which is perpendicular to both (
1
) : r +
j +. = 3 and (
2
) : 3r . = 2;
2
2. through the point O(0, 0, 0) and which is perpendicular to (
1
) : r+j+. =
3 and parallel to the line (d) :
r 1
2
=
j
3
=
. + 2
4
.
3. which is perpendicular to (
1
) : r + j + . = 3 and contains the line
(d) :
r 1
2
=
j
3
=
. + 2
4
.
Exercise 3 Find the parameters c and , such that the line
r c
1
=
j
,
=
.
1
is
contained in the plane r +j +. = 3.
Exercise 4 Let '(2, 3, 5) and (d) :
r
1
=
j
1
=
.
1
. Find the projection of ' onto
(d) and the reection of ' in the line (d).
Exercise 5 Find the reection of the Or axis in the line (d) :
r
1
=
j
1
=
.
1
(Hint: nd the reections of two conveniently chosen points on Or in the line
(d)).
Exercise 6 (*) Find the straight line which is perpendicular to both the lines O.
and (d) :
r 2
1
=
j + 1
3
=
.
4
and intersects them (the common perpendicular
of the lines O. and (d)).
3