Posted by **Carl** on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 5:45pm.

What is the length of the blue line labeled r in the image below? Give your answer in terms of a and b.

blue line labeled r starting at the origin and ending at a point a,b

b|------------|

| /|

| / |

| / |

| / |

| / |

| r / |

| / |

| / |

| / |

| / |

| / |

_|____________|a

- calculus -
**MathMate**, Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 7:19pm
I am as frustrated as you are, because I can make very nice printer-plots as you did, but HTML here does not accept Courrier font and always suppresses multiple spaces.

To answer your question, the length of a line that goes from (0,0) to (a,b) can be calculated by the standard distance formula,

Distance = sqrt((x2-x1)^2+(y2-y1)^2)

which is based on the Pythagoras formula.

For the given case, (x1,y1)=(0,0) and (x2,y2)=(a,b) so the distance reduces to

distance=sqrt(a²+b²)

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