Geometry
posted by Claire on .
Find the distance between points (2,1) and (1,5)
When finding the distance between these 2 points would you subtract 1(2) or 21? The same question with the other one as well.

In answer to your question, you can do it either way, because the numbers get squared anyway.
sqrt[(51)^2 + (1 (2))^2] = sqrt[16 + 9) = 5 
Would it matter in any other case though???

Yes, it matters if you want the slope of the line between the points. Then you must use either
(y2 = y1)/(x2  x1) or (y1  y2)/(x1  x2). 
But if you're not trying to find the slope it wouldn't matter right?

For the distance between points, it doesn't matter.

Alrighty! Thanks so much! (: