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July 2, 2015

Homework Help: Linear Algebra

Posted by Nikki on Sunday, March 1, 2009 at 12:52am.

In 3-space, a plane abc is spanned by three points a, b, c. The point x does not lie on this plane.

I'm trying to find the formulas used to find the point p on abc with minimal distance to x.

I know the point p must be perpendicular to the point p and the plane.

So, I began with taking a vector from the plane to the point, w:

x = (x0,x1,x2)
p = (p0,p1,p2) <-- unknown

w = [p0-x0, p1-x1, p2-x2]

v = [a, b, c] = [a0 b0, c0]
[a1, b1, c1]
[a2, b2, c2]

then I project w onto v

D = |(v dot w)|/|v|

but my problem arises here because I do not know the distance and I do not know the coordinates of p. Am I supposed to be using the gradient formula instead?

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you

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