Distance Between Two Points
Distance between two points is the length of the line segment that connects the two given points. Distance between two points in coordinate geometry can be calculated by finding the length of the line segment joining the given coordinates. Let us understand the formula to find the distance between two points in a twodimensional and threedimensional plane.
What is the Distance Between Two Points?
The distance between any two points is the length of the line segment joining the points. There is only one line passing through two points. So, the distance between two points can be calculated by finding the length of this line segment connecting the two points. For example, if A and B are two points and if \(\overline{AB}=10\) cm, it means that the distance between A and B is 10 cm.
The distance between two points is the length of the line segment joining them (but this CANNOT be the length of the curve joining them). Note that the distance between two points is always positive.
Distance Between Two Points Formula
The distance between two points using the given coordinates can be calculated by applying the distance formula. For any point given in the 2D plane, we can apply the 2D distance formula or the Euclidean distance formula given as,
Formula for Distance Between Two Points:
The formula for the distance, \(d\), between two points whose coordinates are \((x_1, y_1)\) and \((x_2, y_2\)) is:
d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}]
This is called the Distance Formula.
To find the distance between two points given in 3D plane, we can apply the 3D distance formula, given as,
d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2} + (\(z_2\) − \(z_1\))^{2}]
Let's learn how to derive this formula next.
Derivation of Formula for Distance Between Two Points
To derive the formula to calculate the distance between two points in a twodimensional plane, let us assume that there are two points with the coordinates given as, A(\(x_1, y_1\)) B(\(x_2, y_2\))
Next, we will assume that the line segment joining A and B is \(\overline{AB}=d\). Now, we will plot the given points on the coordinate plane and join them by a line.
Next, we will construct a rightangled triangle with \(\overline{AB}\) as the hypotenuse.
Applying Pythagoras theorem for the △ABC:
AB^{2} = AC^{2} + BC^{2}
d^{2} = (\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2} (Values from the figure)
Here, the vertical distance between the given points is \(y_2\) − \(y_1\).
The horizontal distance between the given points is \(x_2\) − \(x_1\).
d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2} + (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}] (Taking square root on both sides)
Thus, the distance formula to find the distance between two points is proved.
Note: In case the two points A and B are on the xaxis, i.e. the coordinates of A and B are (\(x_1\), 0) and (\(x_2\), 0) respectively, then the distance between two points AB = \(x_2\) − \(x_1\).
Using similar steps and concept, we can also derive the formula to find the distance between two points given in the 3D plane.
How to Find Distance Between Two Points?
The distance between two points using the given coordinates can be calculated with the help of the following given steps:
 Note down the coordinates of the two given points in the coordinate plane as, A(\(x_1, y_1\)) and B(\(x_2, y_2\)).
 We can apply the distance formula to find the distance between the two points, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}]
 Express the given answer in units.
Note: We can apply the 3D distance formula in case the two points are given in 3D plane, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2} + (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2} + (\(z_2\) − \(z_1\))^{2}]
Example: Find the distance between the two points with coordinates given as, A = (1, 2) and B = (1, 5).
Solution:
The distance between two points using coordinates can be given as, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}], where (\(x_1, y_1\)) and (\(x_2, y_2\)) are the coordinates of the two points.
⇒ d = √[(1 − 1)^{2} + (5 − 2)^{2}]
⇒ d = 3 units
From the above example, we can also observe that when the xcoordinates of the given points are the same, we can find the distance between the two points by finding the difference between the ycoordinates.
Distance Between Two Points in Complex Plane
The distance between two points in a complex plane or two complex numbers z\(_1\) = a + ib and z\(_2\) = c + id in the complex plane is the distance between points (a, b) and (c, d), given as,
z\(_1\) − z\(_2\) = √[(a − c)^{2 }+ (b − d)^{2}]
Related topics:
Important Notes on distance between two points:
 The distance, d, between two points whose coordinates are \((x_1, y_1)\) and \((x_2, y_2\)) is: d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}]
 Distance of a point (a, b) from:
(i) x  axis is b.
(ii) y  axis is a.
We have used the absolute value signs because distance can never be negative.
Examples on Distance Between Two Points

Example 1: Find the distance between the two points (2, 6) and (7, 3)
Solution:
Let us assume the given points to be:
\((x_1,y_1)\) = (2, 6)
\((x_2, y_2)\) = (7,3)The formula to find the distance between two points is:
d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}]
d = √[(7−2)^{2 }+ (3−(−6))^{2}]
d = √(5^{2 }+ 9^{2})
d = √(25 + 81)
d = √106∴ Distance =√106

Example 2: Show that the points (2, 1), (0, 1) and (2, 3) are the vertices of a rightangled triangle.
Solution:
Let us assume the given points to be:
A = (2, −1)
B = (0, 1)
C = (2, 3)We will find the distance between every two points using the distance formula.
AB = √[(0−2)^{2 }+ (1−(−1))^{2}]
= √[(−2)^{2} + (2)^{2}]
= √(4 + 4)
= √8BC = √[(2 − 0)^{2} + (3 − 1)^{2}]
= √[(2)^{2} + (2)^{2]}
= √(4 + 4)
= √8CA = √[(2 − 2)^{2 }+ (3−(−1))^{2}]
= √(0^{2} + 4^{2})
= √16
= 4Now that we know the lengths of all three sides,
AB^{2 }+ BC^{2} = CA^{2}
(√8)^{2 }+ (√8)^{2 }= 4^{2}
8 + 8 = 16
16 = 16Thus, A, B and C satisfy the Pythagoras theorem.
So △ABC is a rightangled triangle.
We can prove the same by marking all the coordinates on a graph:
Thus, the given points form a rightangled triangle.

Example 3: Find a point on the yaxis that is equidistant from the points (1, 2) and (2, 3).
Solution:
We know that the xcoordinate of any point on the yaxis is 0.
Hence, we assume the point that is equidistant from the given points to be (0, k). i.e.,
Distance between (0, k) and (1, 2) = Distance between (0, k) and (2, 3)
√[(−1 − 0)^{2} + (2 − k)^{2}] = √[(2 − 0)^{2} + (3 − k)^{2}]
Squaring on both sides,
(−1 − 0)^{2} + (2 − k)^{2} = (2 − 0)^{2} + (3 − k)^{2}
1 + 4 + k^{2} − 4k = 4 + 9 + k^{2} − 6k
2k = 8
k = 4Therefore, the required point is, (0, k) = (0, 4)
∴Required Point = (0, 4)
FAQs on Distance Between Two Points
What is Meant By Distance Between Two Points?
The distance between two points is defined as the length of the straight line connecting these points in the coordinate plane. This distance can never be negative, therefore we take the absolute value while finding the distance between two given points.
How Do We Calculate the Distance Between Two points in 2D Plane?
The distance between any two points given in twodimensional plane can be calculated using their coordinates. Distance between two points A(\(x_1, y_1\)) and B(\(x_2, y_2\)) can be calculated as, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}].
How to Find the Distance Between Two points in 3D Plane?
To calculate the distance between two points in a threedimensional plane, we can apply the 3D distance formula given as, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2} + (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2} + (\(z_2\) − \(z_1\))^{2}], where 'd' is the distance between the two points and (\(x_1, y_1, z_1\)), (\(x_2, y_2, z_2\)) are the coordinates of the two points.
What is the Shortest Distance Between Two Points?
The shortest distance between two points can be calculated by finding the length of the straight line connecting both the points. We can apply the distance formula to find this distance depending on the coordinates given in two or threedimensional plane.
How to Find the Distance Between Two Points Using Pythagorean Theorem?
The distance between two points in the cartesian plane can be calculated by applying the Pythagorean theorem. We can form a rightangled triangle using the line joining the given two points as the hypotenuse. Here the perpendicular and base will be the lines parallel to x and yaxis with one end as one of the given points and the other end as their intersecting point. Using the Pythagoras' theorem, (hypotenuse)^{2} = (base)^{2} + (perpendicular)^{2}, we can find the length of the hypotenuse with the help of the given coordinates of two points. This length is equal to the distance between two points.
What is the Distance Formula to Find Distance Between Two Points in Coordinate Geometry?
In coordinate geometry, the distance between two points formula is given as, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}], where, (\(x_1, y_1\)), (\(x_2, y_2\)) are the coordinates of the two points. We can apply another formula if the given points liw in 3D plane, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2} + (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2} + (\(z_2\) − \(z_1\))^{2}], where 'd' is the distance between the two points and (\(x_1, y_1, z_1\)), (\(x_2, y_2, z_2\)) are the coordinates of the two points.
How to Derive the Formula to Find The Distance Between Two Points?
We can apply the Pythagoras theorem to derive the distance between two points formula. We can take the line joining the two points as the hypotenuse of a right triangle formed in the cartesian plane. The length of the hypotenuse can be calculated using the Pythagorean theorem and the given coordinates of two points to derive the distance between two points formula.
How to Find the Vertical Distance Between Two Points?
The vertical distance between two points can be found by calculating the difference of the y coordinates of the two points, i.e., vertical distance between two points, \(d_y\) = \(y_2  y_1\), where (\(x_1, y_1\)), (\(x_2, y_2\)) are the coordinates of the two points.
What are Steps to Find Euclidean Distance Between Two Points?
The Euclidean distance between two points can be calculated using the following steps,
 Note the coordinates of both the given points as (\(x_1, y_1\)) and (\(x_2, y_2\)).
 Apply the Euclidean distance formula, distance, d = √[(\(x_2\) − \(x_1\))^{2 }+ (\(y_2\) − \(y_1\))^{2}]
 Express the given answer in units.
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