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Homework Help: Minimum Distance between surface of sphere and cube

  1. May 20, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Find the minimum distance between the surface of a sphere with radius 3 with center (2,1,2) and a cube with length 6 with center (12,11,12)

    2. Relevant equations
    sphere formula: (x-x0)^2+(y-y0)^2+(z-z0)^2=r^2

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Don't know how to attempt this problem. My assumption is to find the distance between the two centers, then subtract the distance between the radius and the surface of the sphere, and also subtract the distance between the center of the cube to one of the sides. would this procedure be correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2012 #2
    Your procedure is partially correct... but you will want to find the minimum distance between the center of the sphere and a point on the cube. (not the distance between the centers)
    then you will just subtract the radius from that number
    Last edited: May 21, 2012
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