Perpendicular

In elementary geometry, two geometric objects are perpendicular if they intersect at a right angle (90 degrees or π/2 radians). The condition of perpendicularity may be represented graphically using the perpendicular symbol, ⟂. It can be defined between two lines (or two line segments), between a line and a plane, and between two planes.

The segment AB is perpendicular to the segment CD because the two angles it creates (indicated in orange and blue) are each 90 degrees. The segment AB can be called the perpendicular from A to the segment CD, using "perpendicular" as a noun. The point B is called the foot of the perpendicular from A to segment CD, or simply, the foot of A on CD.[1]

Perpendicularity is one particular instance of the more general mathematical concept of orthogonality; perpendicularity is the orthogonality of classical geometric objects. Thus, in advanced mathematics, the word "perpendicular" is sometimes used to describe much more complicated geometric orthogonality conditions, such as that between a surface and its normal vector.


Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Perpendicular, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.