Dr J Frost (jfrost@tiffin.kingston.sch.uk)
www.drfrostmaths.com
E: Eqns of planes
Shortest
F: Applications
distances
Disclaimer: I actually like vectors.
Vector/Cross Product
Recall from C4 that the dot product between two vectors is as follows:
= cos (The dot product is clearly
useful for finding the angle
between two vectors)
=
What is the cross product actually doing?
The dot product outputs a scalar (itll give the cos of the
angle if and are unit vectors).
In contrast the cross product outputs a vector, which is
perpendicular to the two vectors. The unit vector gives its
direction, and the  gives its magnitude.
Bro Handy Tip (pun intended):
RIGHTHANDRULE: Put you RIGHT HAND such that you
thumb is pointing up. Your thumb is the cross product of
your first finger () and your second finger ().
Vector/Cross Product
You could remember to distinction between these two functions ( and ) as follows:
Inputs Output Inputs Output
Angle
Vector
between them
(with some
perpendicular
to them
manipulation)
(with some magnitude)
This why theyre known as the scalar and vector products, because we get a scalar
and a vector as an output respectively.
Note that is not commutative,
i.e. , as (using right
handrule) will be in the
opposite direction.
However:
= sin
= sin
=
Examples
Bro Tip: The right
= 0 so RHS will be 0.
Geometrically, we can see handrule can also
the direction of the cross be used to get the
product would have been
= 0? ambiguous:
? ?
relative directions of
, ,
?
=?
=
?
using = , = 0, etc.
From Edexcel formula booklet. Well discuss what the means on the next slide
Determining Cross Product using Determinants
In FP1 you learnt how to find the determinant of a 2 2 matrix.
= ?
In Chapter 6 you will learn how to find a 3 3 matrix, but well have to preview it now:
(note the minus for
the middle one)
=
+
3 1 4
2 5 2 5 2 2
2 2 5 =3 1 +4
4 3 3 3 3 4
3 4 3 ?
= 3 14 1 21 + 4 14
= 7
Determining Cross Product using Determinants
2 4
= 3 , = 1
? vector
0
30
directly
1
3
= 0 2 = 2
2 12 14
Or
3 determinant
?0 or= using 0 2 0 2 3
2 3 +
1 1 4 1 4 1
4 1 1
= 3 + 2 + 14
You should check your answer using the fact is perpendicular with and with .
3 2 3 4 Recall that if two vectors are
2 3 = 0 2 1 =0 perpendicular, their dot product is 0.
14 0 14 1
Further Example
Find a unit vector perpendicular to both 4 + 3 + 2 and 8 + 3 + 3
?
Yes, your Silver Casios calculate cross products
1.
2. You will be prompted to enter a vector. Select
3. Select 3dimensions.
4. Put in the 3, 1, 1, pressing = after each number.
5. We can get back to calculate mode using AC.
6. Use SHIFT + 5 (Vector) to access more options. Select Data to set more data
and select , putting in numbers as before.
7. Press AC to go back to calculate mode. We want to input .
Use the Vector menu (SHIFT + 5) to get the VctB and VctC in your calculation.
Use the normal symbol.
8. Press = and voila, correct answer!
= sin
Taking modulus of both sides:
= sin
= sin
= sin
The problem with this is that
sin = sin = sin 180 so we

? dont know if the angle is acute
or obtuse in general (you may
= 10 8 6 have encountered the
= 102 + 82 + 62 = 200 ambiguous case when using
the sine rule).
= 22 + 12 + 22 = 3
= 32 + 42 = 5 The dot product avoids this
200 2 3 problem because cos gives
sin = = unique values between 0
15 2
< 180
Volume of
Triangle Parallelogram Volume of
tetrahedron
A: Cross parallelepiped
Product B: Area of
shapes
C: Triple scalar
product
E: Eqns of planes
Shortest
F: Applications
distances
Area of a triangle
Lets take the modulus of both sides as we did earlier (remembering that = 1):
= sin
! Area of triangle
1
=
2
OMG
its double
the area of
a triangle.
Area of a triangle
?
Suppose now the position vectors
of , , are , , respectively.
Whats the area now?
1
=
? 2
1
=
2
1
= ?
+
Bro Note: I see no reason 2
to use this expanded form. 1 Memory tip:
= + +
Just use the second line! 2 its just each
twocombo of
, ,
Could we use the same principle for a
parallelogram if , ,?, have position
vectors , , , respectively?
Just find area of and double:
= or
+ +
Examples
1 3 4
1 = 3
1 4
2 2
0 6 12
1 6 1 = 6
= 6 =? 11 = 5.5
2 2 5
7 ?
=
4 12
= 3 6
2 5
= 13
Test Your Understanding
?
Exercise 5B
Volume of
Triangle Parallelogram Volume of
tetrahedron
A: Cross parallelepiped
Product B: Area of
shapes
C: Triple scalar
product
E: Eqns of planes
Shortest
F: Applications
distances
Triple Scalar Product
(Recall that scalar product is another name for dot product)
The Triple Scalar Product of three vectors is the dot product of one of the
vectors with the cross product of the other two.
1
Suppose = 2 = 1 + 2 + 3
3
Then triple scalar product is:
= 1 2 3 3 2 + 2 3 1? 1 3 + 3 1 2 2 1
1 2 3
= 1 ?2which3 could be expressed more simply as
1 2 3
Examples
Given that = 3 + 4, = + , = 2 + 3 + 5, determine:
a)
b)
c) !
=
=
3 1 2 3 8 i.e. , , can be
= 1 1 3 = 1 7 reordered if cycle
4 1 ? a 5 4 1 maintained.
= 24 + 7 + 4 = 35 But:
=
=
1 2 3 1 17
= 1 3 1 = 1 7
1 5 ? b4 1 11 = =0
= 17 + 7 + 11 = 35 for any vector
17
= = 7
gives a vector
?3 c11 17 perpendicular to .
= 1 7 = 0 Thus the dot
4 11 product must be 0.
Volume of Parallelepiped
(pronounced paralleluhpiepidd. Youre welcome)
= a prism with 6 faces, all parallelograms
In general
= ?
?
Height = 
Area of base:
?

Thus:
= ? cos
And because we know is
in the same direction as ,
and hence is the angle
between and :
=  
?
Bro Note: The prism need not be right in the sense that the crosssection need not stay in the same
perp to base
position relative to the direction perpendicular to the base. The one restriction is the crosssection
must always remain congruent when sliced perpendicular to this direction, e.g.:
The application to the parallelepiped is that none of the faces need be perpendicular to each other,
and none of , , need be perpendicular.
Volume of Tetrahedron
Similarly, the formula for a volume of a pyramid still works if the pyramid is not right,
i.e. the apex (peak) is not above the centre of the base.
In general
= ?
?
Height = 
Area of base:
? 

Thus:
1 1
= ? cos
3 2
= ?
!
= 1
(In summary, the volume of a tetrahedron is 6 of the
volume of a parallelepiped because the base is half as
= 1
big and a pyramid has 3 of the volume of the
corresponding prism)
Test Your Understanding
?
?
?
?
Exercise 5C
Volume of
Triangle Parallelogram Volume of
tetrahedron
A: Cross parallelepiped
Product B: Area of
shapes
C: Triple scalar
product
E: Eqns of planes
Shortest
F: Applications
distances
Vector equations of lines
This chapter is effectively divided into two.
The first, which weve now completed, concerns the application of cross products and
triple scalar products to finding areas and volumes.
This second half of the chapter concerns the application of cross products (and dot
products) to equations of lines and planes. These tend to be more common in exams.
(Hint: If the cross product is 0 the vectors are parallel, so one must be a multiple of the other, say times bigger)
1 + 2 + 3 = 1 + 2 + 3
1
Comparing scalars: 1 = 1 = In Edexcel formula booklet:
1
2 3
And since is similarly and , we obtain:
2 3 ?
Test Your Understanding
?
Exercise 5D
Volume of
Triangle Parallelogram Volume of
tetrahedron
A: Cross parallelepiped
Product B: Area of
shapes
C: Triple scalar
product
E: Eqns of planes
Shortest
F: Applications
distances
Planes
We use to represent a plane
(capital pi) in the same way we
use to represent a straight line. ?
(the stands for normal)
always indicates a vector
perpendicular to the plane.
Just as was used as the
position vector of a fixed point
on a line , it is used in the
same way for a plane. We reuse the letter to mean
the position vector of some
point on the plane.
Its important to realise here that and are fixed for a given plane (i.e. are
constant vectors), whereas can vary as it represents all the possible points on
the plane.
How could we use the dot product to find some relationship between , , ?
is perpendicular to , thus = 0 ! Equation of plane:
= =
?
But since is a constant (as per discussion where is position vector of some
above), replace with constant scalar : point on the plane, is normal to
plane, = is a scalar constant.
Example
A point with position vector 2 + 3 5 lies
on the plane and the vector 3 + is Bromemorisation Tip: In
perpendicular to the plane. Find the equation = , I remember
of the plane in: that the normal vector
a) Scalar product form. is the one common to
b) Cartesian form. both sides.
1
2 3 ! If 2 = is the scalar
= 3 , = 1 3
5 1 product equation of a plane,
= 6 + 3 + 5 = 14
then the Cartesian form is:
3
1 = 14 1 + 2 +?3 = 0
1
?
Given that =
How it appears in formula booklet.
3
1 = 14 Note they use instead of :
1
3 + = 14
3 + 14 = 0
Plane using vectors/lines on plane
Find, in the form = , an equation of the plane which contains the line and the point with position
3 1 4
vector where has the equation = 5 + 2 and = 3
2 1 1
Find also the Cartesian form of the equation.
Key strategy:
A. Identify two vectors on the plane.
B. is cross product of these (as perpendicular to both)
C. Use = as usual.
A. Vectors on plane:
1
Direction vector of line 2
1
4 3 1
= 3 and = 5 both on line so = 2 is
1 2 3
in direction of plane too.
1 1 4 ?
B. = 2 2 = 2
1 3 0
4 4
C. = 3 2 = 22
1 0
4
2 = 22 4 + 2 = 22
0
Test Your Understanding
Find, in the form = , an equation of the plane which contains the line and the point with position
1 4 9
vector where has the equation = 2 + 5 and = 8
3 6 5
Find also the Cartesian form of the equation.
Recall the we could get to a generic point on a
line by first getting to the line using , followed
by some amount of , i.e. = + .
= + +
Examples
A plane passes through the points 2,2 1 , 3,2, 1 , 4,3,5
Find the equation of the plane in the form + +
1 2
Key strategy: (from before)
0 and 1 are both vectors on the plane!
0 6 A. Identify two vectors on the plane.
1 2 0 B. is cross product of these (as
= 0 1 = 6 perpendicular to both)
2
0
0
?6 1 C. Use = as usual.
= 2 6 = 14
1 1
0
6 = 14 6 + = 14
1
Test Your Understanding
?
Exercise 5E
Volume of
Triangle Parallelogram Volume of
tetrahedron
A: Cross parallelepiped
Product B: Area of
shapes
C: Triple scalar
product
E: Eqns of planes
Shortest
F: Applications
distances
Section Overview
Intersection of:
Line with line (C4 recap)
Line with plane
Plane with line
Angle between:
Two lines (C4 recap)
Line and plane
Two planes
3+ 5
1 2 = 2 +
1 3 + 4
Solving simultaneous we get = 2, = 1.?
We only need to the first two equation since two unknowns. But should check
the third equation agrees.
Substituting into either line equation gives point 5, 3, 1
Find the point of intersection of the line and the plane where:
: = + 5 + + + 2
: + 2 + 3 = 4
Big Hint: Solve simultaneously, noting common .
The point must satisfy both equations, so sub in representing point on line into plane equation:
1 + 1
1+ ?
2 = + + + + + =
5 + 2 3 Put back into equation of
= (1,3, 1) line to fix point.
Test Your Understanding
We did this
last lesson.
?
Points of intersection of lines/planes
Find the equation of the line of intersection of the planes 1 and 2 where 1 has
equation 2 2 = 2 and 2 has equation 3 + = 5.
Nasty Method in Textbook for Line
A)
of Intersection:
2 2 = 2
A. Start with Cartesian forms of
3 + = 5
plane equations.
B)
B. Solve simultaneously to eliminate
Suppose we eliminate . Adding eqns:
one of , or . Then get two
3 5 = 7 ()
equations for one of the
Subbing into one of these eqns:
variables, one in terms of each of
7 + 5
2 2 = 2 () other variables, e.g. = ()
3 and = ().
Since both eqns have in common,
?
C. Use 1 = 2 = 3 form to
we could get in terms of and in terms 1 2 3
of : get back to = +
7 8
= = 3, 3
5 4
3 3
7 8 7/3 5/3 7/3 5/3
3== 3
5 4
= 0 , = 1 = 0 + 1
3 3 8/3 4/3 8/3 4/3
Alternative (and much much nicer) Method
Find the equation of the line of intersection of the planes 1 and 2 where 1 has
equation 2 2 = 2 and 2 has equation 3 + = 5.
This method is the primary method in mark schemes
and is considerably more elegant/less clunky:
Note that 1 is perpendicular to 1 and 2 is
2 perpendicular to 2 .
Consequently a vector perpendicular to both 1 and
2 must be on both planes, corresponding to the
1
direction of their line of intersection.
1 2 1 5
2 1 2 = 2 3 = 3
1 1 4
1 2 ? 5
(But since a direction, we could use 3 )
4
So weve got the direction of the line. We now need a point on this line.
Hint: Suppose we (arbitrarily) let = 0 (since we can choose any point on the line
of intersection). How could we use the planes to find the corresponding and ?
If = 0, from 1 : 2 0 2 = 2. From 2 : 1 0 3 + = 5
7 4 7 4
Solving simultaneously: = , = 0, , is a point on both planes
5 5 5 5
and therefore on the line of intersection.
0 ? 5
= 7/5 + 3
4/5 4
Test Your Understanding
?
Exercise 5F
Q1, 2, 3
(you wont be able to do the rest yet)
Section Overview
Intersection of:
Line with line (C4 recap)
Line with plane
Plane with line
Angle between:
Two lines (C4 recap)
Line and plane
Two planes
1
We care only about the
direction vectors 1 and 2 of
the two lines, so:
?1 2
2 cos =
1 2
Angle between line and plane
Find the acute angle between the line with equation
= 2 + 5 + 3 + 4 12 and the plane with
equation 2 2 = 2.
In the diagram, we want the angle .
We can see that the angle between
and is 90 . So
2 3
= 2 = ? 4
1 12
= 10, = 13, =3
10
cos 1 = 75.4
13 3
= 90 75.4 = 14.9
?
Angle between two planes
Find the acute angle between the
planes:
1 1 1 : 4 + 4 7 = 13
2 : 7 4 + 4 = 6
With a suitable diagram, we can see
2 that if is the (obtuse) angle between
1 and 2 , = 180
2 4 7
?
1 = 4 , 2 = 4
7 4
1
16
= cos = 101.4
99
= 180 101.4 = 78.6
CATCHPHRASE INTERMISSION
Say what you see!
? a Plane
Snakes on
Test Your Understanding
?
Exercise 5F
Q48
(you wont be able to do Q9 onwards yet)
Section Overview
Intersection of:
Line with line (C4 recap)
Line with plane
Plane with line
Angle between:
Two lines (C4 recap)
Line and plane
Two planes
! If equation of plane is
= , then is the shortest distance
between the origin and a point on the plane.
Shortest Distance from Plane to Origin
The plane has equation + 2 + 2 = 5.
a) Find the perpendicular distance from the origin to plane .
b) Find the perpendicular distance from the point 1,3, 2 to the plane .
c) Find the perpendicular distance from the point 3,1, 3 to the plane .
a)
= 12 + 22 + 22 = 3
Therefore dividing both sides of equation by 3:
5 ? 5
=
=
3 3
Shortest Distance from Plane to Origin
The plane has equation + 2 + 2 = 5.
a) Find the perpendicular distance from the origin to plane .
b) Find the perpendicular distance from the point 1,3, 2 to the plane .
c) Find the perpendicular distance from the point 3,1, 3 to the plane .
b)
If we had a plane parallel to , then
conveniently they share the same normal
vector , and because the closest points on
5 each plane to the origin and the origin itself
1,3, 2 3 are on the same line, the distance between
and (and hence between 1,3, 2 and )
is simply the difference between these
distances.
The distance is negative because its on the other side of the origin.
5 1
Thus distance of (3,1, 3) from is =2
3 3
?
5
3
1
3
3,1, 3
Test Your Understanding
?
Length of Line after a Projection
Curiously this is never explained in the textbook but the theory is used in multiple
subsequent examples
Suppose we wanted to find the distance when
we project one vector onto another .
You could think of this as the length of the
shadow that leaves on .
Can you think of two different ways to express cos ?
! Length of projection
Way 1: Dot product. cos =? of on :
Way 2: Basic trig. cos =?
Memory Tip: You divide by the
=
? =
magnitude of the vector you are
projecting onto.
Shortest Distance between Line and Line
Show that the shortest distance between the parallel lines with equations:
= + 2 + 5 + 4 + 3 and = 2 + + 5 + 4 + 3 ,
21 2
Where and are scalars, is 10
Use the two known points on the lines and form a triangle:
= 12 + 22 ?
+ 22 = 3
1,2, 1 1
= +
2 But because = 0 and = 0,
and because we want distance to be +ve:
= ?
is shortest
distance.
Example
Find the shortest distance between the two skew lines with Shortest distance
equations = + + and between:
= + 3 + 2 , where and are scalars. = +
2
= +
?
= 3
1
0 =
= 2 ?
2
?
= 0 6 2 = 8
Therefore shortest distance:
8
?8
=2 2
Test Your Understanding
?
Shortest Distance between Line and Point
Find the shortest distance from the point 1,2, 1 to
1,1, 3 1 2
the line with equation = 1 + 2
3 1
Stupid Method:
Explicitly find point (using C4 dotproduct is 0
1,2, 1 method) then find . ?
E: Eqns of planes
Shortest
F: Applications
distances