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Homework Help: Plane question

  1. Jun 6, 2006 #1
    I have a general question. If given 3 points, how would I find the equation of the plane containing all these points?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2006 #2

    dav2008

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    Do you have any ideas?

    Do you know of any ways to write the equation of a plane given some other information? Can you gather that information if given 3 points?
     
  4. Jun 6, 2006 #3
    I think I found it. I would need to take the cross product of 2 vectors from those 3 points to find the normal vector. Then I would use the equation 0 = a(x-x1)+b(y-y1)+c(z-z1), <a,b,c> being the normal vector. For <x1,y1,z1> would I just pick one of the points? Does it matter which one?
     
  5. Jun 7, 2006 #4

    TD

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    Your approach is fine and it doesn't matter which point you use in the end.
     
  6. Jun 7, 2006 #5

    dav2008

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    That form of the plane equation works but I prefer to write the plane equation as ax+by+cz=d where <a,b,c> is a normal vector to the plane. You can then solve for d by evaluating the left-hand side at any point. In the end it doesn't matter because you'll end up with the same equation.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2006
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