I need help with this:

Find the equation of a plane that contains the point (1, 2, 1) and intersects the coordinate axes forming the smaller (least volume) tetrahedron possible.

I really have no idea how to proceed.

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- Dec 7th 2010, 07:42 AMnvwxgnSmaller tetrahedron possible limited by a plane
I need help with this:

Find the equation of a plane that contains the point (1, 2, 1) and intersects the coordinate axes forming the smaller (least volume) tetrahedron possible.

I really have no idea how to proceed. - Dec 7th 2010, 09:00 AMTheEmptySet
Here is an outline of what needs to be done.

Lets start with what we know

Attachment 20010

Using this we can make a generic equation of of this plane note that

and

This gives the equation of the plane as

Note also since must be in the plane we get

(we will need this constraint later)

Note the volume of the tetrahedron is given by

Now we need to minimize this using Lagrange multipliers. This gives the system

Solving I get

This gives a volume of .