# perpendicular lines

• Nov 10th 2006, 02:24 PM
Bartimaeus
perpendicular lines
The question is:

What is the equation of a line perpendicular to the x-axis and passes through (3,-2)?

By graphing the line, we know that it is x=3, but how do you find that out without graphing.
• Nov 10th 2006, 02:29 PM
Plato
What is the equation of a line perpendicular to the x-axis and passes through (a,b)? Well $x=a$

What is the equation of a line perpendicular to the y-axis and passes through (a,b)? Well $y=b$
• Nov 10th 2006, 04:32 PM
Dergyll
You know that a line perpendicular to the x-axis must be vertical and must have an equation of x=something. In the case of (3,-2), it doesn't matter what the Y value is as long as you have the x value and know where on the x-axis the point is, in this case, 3. So the equation will be x=3. If the line were to be horizontal, you would know that the x value must be 0 since it does not intercept the x-axis (there is an exception when the line is on the x-axis though) and the concept would be backwards where it will be y=something.

Sometimes I find it hopeful to draw mental pictures of the situation.:p

Hope this helps
Derg
• Nov 10th 2006, 06:15 PM
Bartimaeus
thanx