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Mathematics LibreTexts

8.1: Distance and Midpoint Formulas and Circles

  • Page ID
    29091
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    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this section, you will be able to:

    • Use the Distance Formula
    • Use the Midpoint Formula
    • Write the equation of a circle in standard form
    • Graph a circle

    Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

    1. Find the length of the hypotenuse of a right triangle whose legs are \(12\) and \(16\) inches.
      If you missed this problem, review Example 2.34.
    2. Factor: \(x^{2}-18 x+81\).
      If you missed this problem, review Example 6.24.
    3. Solve by completing the square: \(x^{2}-12 x-12=0\).
      If you missed this problem, review Example 9.22.

    In this chapter we will be looking at the conic sections, usually called the conics, and their properties. The conics are curves that result from a plane intersecting a double cone—two cones placed point-to-point. Each half of a double cone is called a nappe.

    This figure shows two cones placed point to point. They are labeled nappes.
    Figure 11.1.1

    There are four conics—the circle, parabola, ellipse, and hyperbola. The next figure shows how the plane intersecting the double cone results in each curve.

    Each of these four figures shows a double cone intersected by a plane. In the first figure, the plane is perpendicular to the axis of the cones and intersects the bottom cone to form a circle. In the second figure, the plane is at an angle to the axis and intersects the bottom cone in such a way that it intersects the base as well. Thus, the curve formed by the intersection is open at both ends. This is labeled parabola. In the third figure, the plane is at an angle to the axis and intersects the bottom cone in such a way that it does not intersect the base of the cone. Thus, the curve formed by the intersection is a closed loop, labeled ellipse. In the fourth figure, the plane is parallel to the axis, intersecting both cones. This is labeled hyperbola.
    Figure 11.1.2

    Each of the curves has many applications that affect your daily life, from your cell phone to acoustics and navigation systems. In this section we will look at the properties of a circle.

    Use the Distance Formula

    We have used the Pythagorean Theorem to find the lengths of the sides of a right triangle. Here we will use this theorem again to find distances on the rectangular coordinate system. By finding distance on the rectangular coordinate system, we can make a connection between the geometry of a conic and algebra—which opens up a world of opportunities for application.

    Our first step is to develop a formula to find distances between points on the rectangular coordinate system. We will plot the points and create a right triangle much as we did when we found slope in Graphs and Functions. We then take it one step further and use the Pythagorean Theorem to find the length of the hypotenuse of the triangle—which is the distance between the points.

    Example \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Use the rectangular coordinate system to find the distance between the points \((6,4)\) and \((2,1)\).

    Solution

    Plot the two points. Connect the two points
    with a line.
    Draw a right triangle as if you were going to
    find slope.
    .
    Figure 11.1.3
    Find the length of each leg.
    .
    Figure 11.1.4
    Use the Pythagorean Theorem to find \(d\), the distance between the two points. \(a^{2}+b^{2}=c^{2}\)
    Substitute in the values. \(3^{2}+4^{2}=d^{2}\)
    Simplify. \(9+16=d^{2}\)
    \(25=d^{2}\)
    Use the Square Root Property. \(d=5\quad\cancel{d=-5}\)
    Since distance, \(d\) is positive, we can eliminate \(d=-5\). The distance between the points \((6,4)\) and \((2,1)\) is \(5\).
    Table 11.1.1
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Use the rectangular coordinate system to find the distance between the points \((6,1)\) and \((2,-2)\).

    Answer

    \(d=5\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{2}\)

    Use the rectangular coordinate system to find the distance between the points \((5,3)\) and \((-3,-3)\).

    Answer

    \(d=10\)

    Figure shows a graph with a right triangle. The hypotenuse connects two points, (2, 1) and (6, 4). These are respectively labeled (x1, y1) and (x2, y2). The rise is y2 minus y1, which is 4 minus 1 equals 3. The run is x2 minus x1, which is 6 minus 2 equals 4.
    Figure 11.1.5

    The method we used in the last example leads us to the formula to find the distance between the two points \(\left(x_{1}, y_{1}\right)\) and \(\left(x_{2}, y_{2}\right)\).

    When we found the length of the horizontal leg we subtracted \(6−2\) which is \(x_{2}-x_{1}\).

    When we found the length of the vertical leg we subtracted \(4−1\) which is \(y_{2}-y_{1}\).

    If the triangle had been in a different position, we may have subtracted \(x_{1}-x_{2}\) or \(y_{1}-y_{2}\). The expressions \(x_{2}-x_{1}\) and \(x_{1}-x_{2}\) vary only in the sign of the resulting number. To get the positive value-since distance is positive- we can use absolute value. So to generalize we will say \(\left|x_{2}-x_{1}\right|\) and \(\left|y_{2}-y_{1}\right|\).

    In the Pythagorean Theorem, we substitute the general expressions \(\left|x_{2}-x_{1}\right|\) and \(\left|y_{2}-y_{1}\right|\) rather than the numbers.

    \(\begin{array}{l c}{} & {a^{2}+b^{2}=c^{2}} \\ {\text {Substitute in the values. }}&{(|x_{2}-x_{1}|)^{2}+(|y_{2}-y_{1}|)^{2}=d^{2}} \\ {\text{Squaring the expressions makes}}&{(x_{2}-x_{1})^{2}+(y_{2}-y_{1})^{2}=d^{2}} \\ \text{them positive, so we eliminate} \\\text{the absolute value bars.}\\ {\text{Use the Square Root Property.}}&{d=\pm\sqrt{(x_{2}-x_{1})^{2}+(y_{2}-y_{1})^{2}}}\\ {\text{Distance is positive, so eliminate}}&{d=\sqrt{(x_{2}-x_{1})^{2}+(y_{2}-y_{1})^{2}}}\\\text{the negative value.}\end{array}\)

    This is the Distance Formula we use to find the distance \(d\) between the two points \((x_{1},y_{1})\) and \((x_{2}, y_{2})\).

    Definition \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    Distance Formula

    The distance \(d\) between the two points \((x_{1},y_{1})\) and \((x_{2}, y_{2})\) is

    \(d=\sqrt{\left(x_{2}-x_{1}\right)^{2}+\left(y_{2}-y_{1}\right)^{2}}\)

    Example \(\PageIndex{2}\)

    Use the Distance Formula to find the distance between the points \((-5,-3)\) and \((7,2)\).

    Solution:

    Write the Distance Formula.

    \(d=\sqrt{\left(x_{2}-x_{1}\right)^{2}+\left(y_{2}-y_{1}\right)^{2}}\)

    Label the points, \(\left( \begin{array}{c}{x_{1}, y_{1}} \\ {-5,-3}\end{array}\right)\), \(\left( \begin{array}{l}{x_{2}, y_{2}} \\ {7,2}\end{array}\right)\) and substitute.

    \(d=\sqrt{(7-(-5))^{2}+(2-(-3))^{2}}\)

    Simplify.

    \(d=\sqrt{12^{2}+5^{2}}\)
    \(d=\sqrt{144+25}\)
    \(d=\sqrt{169}\)
    \(d=13\)

    Answer:

    \(d=13\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{3}\)

    Use the Distance Formula to find the distance between the points \((-4,-5)\) and \((5,7)\).

    Answer

    \(d=15\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{4}\)

    Use the Distance Formula to find the distance between the points \((-2,-5)\) and \((-14,-10)\).

    Answer

    \(d=13\)

    Example \(\PageIndex{3}\)

    Use the Distance Formula to find the distance between the points \((10,−4)\) and \((−1,5)\). Write the answer in exact form and then find the decimal approximation, rounded to the nearest tenth if needed.

    Solution:

    Write the Distance Formula.

    \(d=\sqrt{\left(x_{2}-x_{1}\right)^{2}+\left(y_{2}-y_{1}\right)^{2}}\)

    Label the points, \(\left( \begin{array}{c}{x_{1}, y_{1}} \\ {10,-4}\end{array}\right)\), \(\left( \begin{array}{c}{x_{2}, y_{2}} \\ {-1,5}\end{array}\right)\) and substitute.

    \(d=\sqrt{(-1-10)^{2}+(5-(-4))^{2}}\)

    Simplify.

    \(d=\sqrt{(-11)^{2}+9^{2}}\)
    \(d=\sqrt{121+81}\)
    \(d=\sqrt{202}\)

    Since \(202\) is not a perfect square, we can leave the answer in exact form or find a decimal approximation.

    \(d=\sqrt{202}\)
    or
    \(d \approx 14.2\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{5}\)

    Use the Distance Formula to find the distance between the points \((−4,−5)\) and \((3,4)\). Write the answer in exact form and then find the decimal approximation, rounded to the nearest tenth if needed.

    Answer

    \(d=\sqrt{130}, d \approx 11.4\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{6}\)

    Use the Distance Formula to find the distance between the points \((−2,−5)\) and \((−3,−4)\). Write the answer in exact form and then find the decimal approximation, rounded to the nearest tenth if needed.

    Answer

    \(d=\sqrt{2}, d \approx 1.4\)

    Use the Midpoint Formula

    It is often useful to be able to find the midpoint of a segment. For example, if you have the endpoints of the diameter of a circle, you may want to find the center of the circle which is the midpoint of the diameter. To find the midpoint of a line segment, we find the average of the \(x\)-coordinates and the average of the \(y\)-coordinates of the endpoints.

    Definition \(\PageIndex{2}\)

    Midpoint Formula

    The midpoint of the line segment whose endpoints are the two points \(\left(x_{1}, y_{1}\right)\) and \(\left(x_{2}, y_{2}\right)\) is

    \(\left(\frac{x_{1}+x_{2}}{2}, \frac{y_{1}+y_{2}}{2}\right)\)

    To find the midpoint of a line segment, we find the average of the \(x\)-coordinates and the average of the \(y\)-coordinates of the endpoints.

    Example \(\PageIndex{4}\)

    Use the Midpoint Formula to find the midpoint of the line segments whose endpoints are \((−5,−4)\) and \((7,2)\). Plot the endpoints and the midpoint on a rectangular coordinate system.

    Solution:

    Write the Midpoint Formula. \(\left(\frac{x_{1}+x_{2}}{2}, \frac{y_{1}+y_{2}}{2}\right)\)
    Label the points, \(\left( \begin{array}{c}{x_{1}, y_{1}} \\ {-5,-4}\end{array}\right), \left( \begin{array}{l}{x_{2}, y_{2}} \\ {7,2}\end{array}\right)\) and substitute. \(\left(\frac{-5+7}{2}, \frac{-4+2}{2}\right)\)
    Simplify. \(\left(\frac{2}{2}, \frac{-2}{2}\right)\)

    \((1,-1)\)

    The midpoint of the segment is the point

    \((1,-1)\).

    Plot the endpoints and midpoint.
    .
    Figure 11.1.6
    Table 11.1.2
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{7}\)

    Use the Midpoint Formula to find the midpoint of the line segments whose endpoints are \((−3,−5)\) and \((5,7)\). Plot the endpoints and the midpoint on a rectangular coordinate system.

    Answer
    This graph shows a line segment with endpoints (negative 3, negative 5) and (5, 7) and midpoint (1, negative 1).
    Figure 11.1.7
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{8}\)

    Use the Midpoint Formula to find the midpoint of the line segments whose endpoints are \((−2,−5)\) and \((6,−1)\). Plot the endpoints and the midpoint on a rectangular coordinate system.

    Answer
    This graph shows a line segment with endpoints (negative 2, negative 5) and (6, negative 1) and midpoint (2, negative 3).
    Figure 11.1.8

    Both the Distance Formula and the Midpoint Formula depend on two points, \(\left(x_{1}, y_{1}\right)\) and \(\left(x_{2}, y_{2}\right)\). It is easy to confuse which formula requires addition and which subtraction of the coordinates. If we remember where the formulas come from, is may be easier to remember the formulas.

    The distance formula is d equals square root of open parentheses x2 minus x1 close parentheses squared plus open parentheses y2 minus y1 close parentheses squared end of root. This is labeled subtract the coordinates. The midpoint formula is open parentheses open parentheses x1 plus x2 close parentheses upon 2 comma open parentheses y1 plus y2 close parentheses upon 2 close parentheses. This is labeled add the coordinates.
    Figure 11.1.9

    Write the Equation of a Circle in Standard Form

    As we mentioned, our goal is to connect the geometry of a conic with algebra. By using the coordinate plane, we are able to do this easily.

    This figure shows a double cone and an intersecting plane, which form a circle.
    Figure 11.1.10

    We define a circle as all points in a plane that are a fixed distance from a given point in the plane. The given point is called the center, \((h,k)\), and the fixed distance is called the radius, \(r\), of the circle.

    Definition \(\PageIndex{3}\)

    A circle is all points in a plane that are a fixed distance from a given point in the plane. The given point is called the center, \((h,k)\), and the fixed distance is called the radius, \(r\), of the circle.


    We look at a circle in the rectangular coordinate system.
    The radius is the distance from the center, \((h,k)\),to a
    point on the circle, \((x,y)\).
    .
    Figure 11.1.11
    To derive the equation of a circle, we can use the
    distance formula with the points \((h,k)\), \((x,y)\) and the
    distance, \(r\).
    \(d=\sqrt{\left(x_{2}-x_{1}\right)^{2}+\left(y_{2}-y_{1}\right)^{2}}\)
    Substitute the values. \(r=\sqrt{(x-h)^{2}+(y-k)^{2}}\)
    Square both sides. \(r^{2}=(x-h)^{2}+(y-k)^{2}\)
    Table 11.1.3

    This is the standard form of the equation of a circle with center, \((h,k)\), and radius, \(r\).

    Definition \(\PageIndex{4}\)

    The standard form of the equation of a circle with center, \((h,k)\), and radius, \(r\), is

    Figure shows circle with center at (h, k) and a radius of r. A point on the circle is labeled x, y. The formula is open parentheses x minus h close parentheses squared plus open parentheses y minus k close parentheses squared equals r squared.
    Figure 11.1.12
    Example \(\PageIndex{5}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with radius \(3\) and center \((0,0)\).

    Solution:

    Use the standard form of the equation of a circle \((x-h)^{2}+(y-k)^{2}=r^{2}\)
    Substitute in the values \(r=3, h=0\), and \(k=0\). \((x-0)^{2}+(y-0)^{2}=3^{2}\)
    .
    Simplify. \(x^{2}+y^{2}=9\)
    Table 11.1.4
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{9}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with a radius of \(6\) and center \((0,0)\).

    Answer

    \(x^{2}+y^{2}=36\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{10}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with a radius of \(8\) and center \((0,0)\).

    Answer

    \(x^{2}+y^{2}=64\)

    In the last example, the center was \((0,0)\). Notice what happened to the equation. Whenever the center is \((0,0)\), the standard form becomes \(x^{2}+y^{2}=r^{2}\).

    Example \(\PageIndex{6}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with radius \(2\) and center \((−1,3)\).

    Solution:

    Use the standard form of the equation of a circle. \((x-h)^{2}+(y-k)^{2}=r^{2}\)
    Substitute in the values. \((x-(-1))^{2}+(y-3)^{2}=2^{2}\)
    .
    Simplify. \((x+1)^{2}+(y-3)^{2}=4\)
    Table 11.1.5
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{11}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with a radius of \(7\) and center \((2,−4)\).

    Answer

    \((x-2)^{2}+(y+4)^{2}=49\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{12}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with a radius of \(9\) and center \((−3,−5)\).

    Answer

    \((x+3)^{2}+(y+5)^{2}=81\)

    In the next example, the radius is not given. To calculate the radius, we use the Distance Formula with the two given points.

    Example \(\PageIndex{7}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with center \((2,4)\) that also contains the point \((−2,1)\).

    This graph shows circle with center at (2, 4, radius 5 and a point on the circle minus 2, 1.
    Figure 11.1.15

    Solution:

    The radius is the distance from the center to any point on the circle so we can use the distance formula to calculate it. We will use the center \((2,4)\) and point \((−2,1)\)

    Use the Distance Formula to find the radius.

    \(r=\sqrt{\left(x_{2}-x_{1}\right)^{2}+\left(y_{2}-y_{1}\right)^{2}}\)

    Substitute the values. \(\left( \begin{array}{l}{x_{1}, y_{1}} \\ {2,4}\end{array}\right), \left( \begin{array}{c}{x_{2}, y_{2}} \\ {-2,1}\end{array}\right)\)

    \(r=\sqrt{(-2-2)^{2}+(1-4)^{2}}\)

    Simplify.

    \(r=\sqrt{(-4)^{2}+(-3)^{2}}\)
    \(r=\sqrt{16+9}\)
    \(r=\sqrt{25}\)
    \(r=5\)

    Now that we know the radius, \(r=5\), and the center, \((2,4)\), we can use the standard form of the equation of a circle to find the equation.

    Use the standard form of the equation of a circle.

    \((x-h)^{2}+(y-k)^{2}=r^{2}\)

    Substitute in the values.

    \((x-2)^{2}+(y-4)^{2}=5^{2}\)

    Simplify.

    \((x-2)^{2}+(y-4)^{2}=25\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{13}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with center \((2,1)\) that also contains the point \((−2,−2)\).

    Answer

    \((x-2)^{2}+(y-1)^{2}=25\)

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{14}\)

    Write the standard form of the equation of the circle with center \((7,1)\) that also contains the point \((−1,−5)\).

    Answer

    \((x-7)^{2}+(y-1)^{2}=100\)

    Graph a Circle

    Any equation of the form \((x-h)^{2}+(y-k)^{2}=r^{2}\) is the standard form of the equation of a circle with center, \((h,k)\), and radius, \(r\). We can then graph the circle on a rectangular coordinate system.

    Note that the standard form calls for subtraction from \(x\) and \(y\). In the next example, the equation has \(x+2\), so we need to rewrite the addition as subtraction of a negative.

    Example \(\PageIndex{8}\)

    Find the center and radius, then graph the circle: \((x+2)^{2}+(y-1)^{2}=9\).

    Solution:

    .

    Use the standard form of the equation of a circle.

    Identify the center, \((h,k)\) and radius, \(r\).

    .
    Center: \((-2,1)\) radius: \(3\)
    Graph the circle. .
    Table 11.1.6
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{15}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \((x-3)^{2}+(y+4)^{2}=4\).
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((3,-4)\) with a radius of \(2\).
    This graph shows a circle with center at (3, negative 4) and a radius of 2.
    Figure 11.1.19
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{16}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \((x-3)^{2}+(y-1)^{2}=16\).
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((3,1)\) with a radius of \(4\).
    This graph shows circle with center at (3, 1) and a radius of 4.
    Figure 11.1.20

    To find the center and radius, we must write the equation in standard form. In the next example, we must first get the coefficient of \(x^{2}, y^{2}\) to be one.

    Example \(\PageIndex{9}\)

    Find the center and radius and then graph the circle, \(4 x^{2}+4 y^{2}=64\).

    Solution:

    .
    Divide each side by \(4\). .
    Use the standard form of the equation of a circle.
    Identify the center, \((h,k)\) and radius, \(r\).
    .
    Center: \((0,0)\) radius: \(4\)
    Graph the circle. .
    Table 11.1.7
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{17}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(3 x^{2}+3 y^{2}=27\)
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((0,0)\) with a radius of \(3\).
    This graph shows circle with center at (0, 0) and a radius of 3.
    Figure 11.1.25
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{18}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(5 x^{2}+5 y^{2}=125\)
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((0,0)\) with a radius of \(5\).
    This graph shows circle with center at (0, 0) and a radius of 5.
    Figure 11.1.26

    If we expand the equation from Example 11.1.8, \((x+2)^{2}+(y-1)^{2}=9\), the equation of the circle looks very different.

    \((x+2)^{2}+(y-1)^{2}=9\)

    Square the binomials.

    Arrange the terms in descending degree order, and get zero on the right

    This form of the equation is called the general form of the equation of the circle.

    Definition \(\PageIndex{5}\)

    The general form of the equation of a circle is

    \(x^{2}+y^{2}+a x+b y+c=0\)

    If we are given an equation in general form, we can change it to standard form by completing the squares in both \(x\) and \(y\). Then we can graph the circle using its center and radius.

    Example \(\PageIndex{10}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(x^{2}+y^{2}-4 x-6 y+4=0\)

    Solution:

    We need to rewrite this general form into standard form in order to find the center and radius.

    .
    Figure 11.1.27
    Group the \(x\)-terms and \(y\)-terms.
    Collect the constants on the right side.
    .
    Figure 11.1.28
    Complete the squares.
    .
    Figure 11.1.29
    Rewrite as binomial squares.
    .
    Figure 11.1.30
    Identify the center and radius. Center: \((2,3)\) radius: \(3\)
    Graph the circle.
    .
    Figure 11.1.31
    Table 11.1.8
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{19}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(x^{2}+y^{2}-6 x-8 y+9=0\).
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((3,4)\) with a radius of \(4\).
    This graph shows circle with center at (3, 4) and a radius of 4.
    Figure 11.1.32
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{20}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(x^{2}+y^{2}+6 x-2 y+1=0\)
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((-3,1)\) with a radius of \(3\).
    This graph shows circle with center at (negative 3, 1) and a radius of 3.
    Figure 11.1.33

    In the next example, there is a \(y\)-term and a \(y^{2}\)-term. But notice that there is no \(x\)-term, only an \(x^{2}\)-term. We have seen this before and know that it means \(h\) is \(0\). We will need to complete the square for the \(y\) terms, but not for the \(x\) terms.

    Example \(\PageIndex{11}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(x^{2}+y^{2}+8 y=0\)

    Solution:

    We need to rewrite this general form into standard form in order to find the center and radius.

    .
    Group the \(x\)-terms and \(y\)-terms. .
    There are no constants to collect on the right side.
    Complete the square for \(y^{2}+8y\). .
    Rewrite as binomial squares. .
    Identify the center and radius. Center: \((0,-4)\) radius: \(4\)
    Graph the circle. .
    Table 11.1.9
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{21}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(x^{2}+y^{2}-2 x-3=0\).
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((-1,0)\) with a radius of \(2\).
    This graph shows circle with center at (1, 0) and a radius of 2.
    Figure 11.1.39
    Exercise \(\PageIndex{22}\)
    1. Find the center and radius, then
    2. Graph the circle: \(x^{2}+y^{2}-12 y+11=0\).
    Answer
    1. The circle is centered at \((0,6)\) with a radius of \(5\).
    This graph shows circle with center at (0, 6) and a radius of 5.
    Figure 11.1.40

    Access these online resources for additional instructions and practice with using the distance and midpoint formulas, and graphing circles.

    • Distance-Midpoint Formulas and Circles
    • Finding the Distance and Midpoint Between Two Points
    • Completing the Square to Write Equation in Standard Form of a Circle

    Key Concepts

    • Distance Formula: The distance \(d\) between the two points \(\left(x_{1}, y_{1}\right)\) and \(\left(x_{2}, y_{2}\right)\) is

      \(d=\sqrt{\left(x_{2}-x_{1}\right)^{2}+\left(y_{2}-y_{1}\right)^{2}}\)

    • Midpoint Formula: The midpoint of the line segment whose endpoints are the two points \(\left(x_{1}, y_{1}\right)\) and \(\left(x_{2}, y_{2}\right)\) is

      \(\left(\frac{x_{1}+x_{2}}{2}, \frac{y_{1}+y_{2}}{2}\right)\)

      To find the midpoint of a line segment, we find the average of the \(x\)-coordinates and the average of the \(y\)-coordinates of the endpoints.
    • Circle: A circle is all points in a plane that are a fixed distance from a fixed point in the plane. The given point is called the center, \((h,k)\), and the fixed distance is called the radius, \(r\), of the circle.
    • Standard Form of the Equation a Circle: The standard form of the equation of a circle with center, \((h,k)\), and radius, \(r\), is
    Figure shows circle with center at (h, k) and a radius of r. A point on the circle is labeled x, y. The formula is open parentheses x minus h close parentheses squared plus open parentheses y minus k close parentheses squared equals r squared.
    Figure 11.1.41
    • General Form of the Equation of a Circle: The general form of the equation of a circle is

      \(x^{2}+y^{2}+a x+b y+c=0\)

    Glossary

    circle
    A circle is all points in a plane that are a fixed distance from a fixed point in the plane.
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