Ask a question

What are the differences between the Distance Formula, the Midpoint Formula, the Slope Formula, and the Quadratic Formula?

What is each formula used for? Just need brief explanations.

1 Answer by Expert Tutors

Tutors, sign in to answer this question.
William S. | Experienced scientist, mathematician and instructor - WilliamExperienced scientist, mathematician and...
4.4 4.4 (10 lesson ratings) (10)
Check Marked as Best Answer
If P1 has coordinates (x1, y1) and P2 has coordinates (x2, y2), then the distance between the two points is
given by [(x1 - x2)2 + (y1 - y2)2]½ or [(x2 - x1)2 + (y2 - y1)2]½
Using the same two points as above, the midpoint formula is
M = [(x1 + x2)/2], [(y1 + y2)/2]
If we wanted to find the slope of the line on which the two points lie, it would be given by:
m = (y1 - y2)/(x1 - x2) or (y2 - y1)/(x2 - x1)
Some quadratic equations can be easily factored, some cannot.  For those cases we use the Quadratic Formula:
If ax2 + bx + c = 0
then x = [-b ± (b2 - 4ac)½]/2a
Notice that the Distance, Midpoint and Slope Formulas all refer to linear equations.  The quadratic formula, as the name implies, is used to find roots of an equation in which the variable x is squared.