1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The unit normal to a plane

  1. May 16, 2008 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Find the unit normal to the plane a + 2s - 2t = 15. What is the distance of the plane from the origin?

    2. Relevant equations
    The normal to a plane is given by s x t
    For any plane, r.n = p [n = unit vector and p = constant]

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Not entirely sure what I'm meant to be doing here as I'm not given any real values for the vectors s and t, so I can't see how to crossing them achieves anything. I'd be capable of crossing the two vectors if they were in component form, but not here. Obviously I'm missing something here, any help would be great.

    Many thanks,
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    If a, s and t are vectors, that equation doesn't even make sense. The left side is a vector and the right side is a scalar. Are a, s and t the names of your coordinates?
  4. May 16, 2008 #3
    My apologies, on reading the question again it seems the letters in the equation aren't meant to be vectors. So the equation is just a + 2s - 2t = 15 or to make it more simple: x + 2y - 2z = 15 where the letters are scalars I assume.
  5. May 16, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    That makes it easy, right? Now it's just your usual normal to a plane problem.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Similar Discussions: The unit normal to a plane
  1. Unit normal vector (Replies: 6)