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Algebraic expression that gives the distances between pairs of points in terms of their coordinates (seecoordinate system). In two- and three-dimensional Euclidean space, the distance formulas for points in rectangular coordinates are based on the Pythagorean theorem. The distance between the points (a,b) and (c,d) is given by . In three dimensional space, the distance between the points (a, b, c) and (d, e, f) is .
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on distance formula, visit Britannica.com.
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