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Find the x -intercept of f ( x ) = 1 4 x 4.

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Describing horizontal and vertical lines

There are two special cases of lines on a graph—horizontal and vertical lines. A horizontal line indicates a constant output, or y -value. In [link] , we see that the output has a value of 2 for every input value. The change in outputs between any two points, therefore, is 0. In the slope formula, the numerator is 0, so the slope is 0. If we use m = 0 in the equation f ( x ) = m x + b , the equation simplifies to f ( x ) = b . In other words, the value of the function is a constant. This graph represents the function f ( x ) = 2.

A horizontal line representing the function f ( x ) = 2.

A vertical line indicates a constant input, or x -value. We can see that the input value for every point on the line is 2, but the output value varies. Because this input value is mapped to more than one output value, a vertical line does not represent a function. Notice that between any two points, the change in the input values is zero. In the slope formula, the denominator will be zero, so the slope of a vertical line is undefined.

Notice that a vertical line, such as the one in [link] , has an x -intercept, but no y- intercept unless it’s the line x = 0. This graph represents the line x = 2.

The vertical line, x = 2 , which does not represent a function.

Horizontal and vertical lines

Lines can be horizontal or vertical.

A horizontal line    is a line defined by an equation in the form f ( x ) = b .

A vertical line    is a line defined by an equation in the form x = a .

Writing the equation of a horizontal line

Write the equation of the line graphed in [link] .

Graph of x = 7.

For any x -value, the y -value is 4 , so the equation is y = 4.

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Writing the equation of a vertical line

Write the equation of the line graphed in [link] .

Graph of two functions where the baby blue line is y = -2/3x + 7, and the blue line is y = -x + 1.

The constant x -value is 7 , so the equation is x = 7.

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Determining whether lines are parallel or perpendicular

The two lines in [link] are parallel lines : they will never intersect. Notice that they have exactly the same steepness, which means their slopes are identical. The only difference between the two lines is the y -intercept. If we shifted one line vertically toward the y -intercept of the other, they would become the same line.

Graph of two functions where the blue line is y = -2/3x + 1, and the baby blue line is y = -2/3x +7. Notice that they are parallel lines.
Parallel lines.

We can determine from their equations whether two lines are parallel by comparing their slopes. If the slopes are the same and the y -intercepts are different, the lines are parallel. If the slopes are different, the lines are not parallel.

Unlike parallel lines, perpendicular lines do intersect. Their intersection forms a right, or 90-degree, angle. The two lines in [link] are perpendicular.

Graph of two functions where the blue line is perpendicular to the orange line.
Perpendicular lines.

Perpendicular lines do not have the same slope. The slopes of perpendicular lines are different from one another in a specific way. The slope of one line is the negative reciprocal of the slope of the other line. The product of a number and its reciprocal is 1. So, if m 1  and  m 2 are negative reciprocals of one another, they can be multiplied together to yield –1.

m 1 m 2 = 1

To find the reciprocal of a number, divide 1 by the number. So the reciprocal of 8 is 1 8 , and the reciprocal of 1 8 is 8. To find the negative reciprocal, first find the reciprocal and then change the sign.

Questions & Answers

how can are find the domain and range of a relations
austin Reply
A cell phone company offers two plans for minutes. Plan A: $15 per month and $2 for every 300 texts. Plan B: $25 per month and $0.50 for every 100 texts. How many texts would you need to send per month for plan B to save you money?
Diddy Reply
6000
Robert
more than 6000
Robert
can I see the picture
Zairen Reply
How would you find if a radical function is one to one?
Peighton Reply
how to understand calculus?
Jenica Reply
with doing calculus
SLIMANE
Thanks po.
Jenica
Hey I am new to precalculus, and wanted clarification please on what sine is as I am floored by the terms in this app? I don't mean to sound stupid but I have only completed up to college algebra.
rachel Reply
I don't know if you are looking for a deeper answer or not, but the sine of an angle in a right triangle is the length of the opposite side to the angle in question divided by the length of the hypotenuse of said triangle.
Marco
can you give me sir tips to quickly understand precalculus. Im new too in that topic. Thanks
Jenica
if you remember sine, cosine, and tangent from geometry, all the relationships are the same but they use x y and r instead (x is adjacent, y is opposite, and r is hypotenuse).
Natalie
it is better to use unit circle than triangle .triangle is only used for acute angles but you can begin with. Download any application named"unit circle" you find in it all you need. unit circle is a circle centred at origine (0;0) with radius r= 1.
SLIMANE
What is domain
johnphilip
the standard equation of the ellipse that has vertices (0,-4)&(0,4) and foci (0, -15)&(0,15) it's standard equation is x^2 + y^2/16 =1 tell my why is it only x^2? why is there no a^2?
Reena Reply
what is foci?
Reena Reply
This term is plural for a focus, it is used for conic sections. For more detail or other math questions. I recommend researching on "Khan academy" or watching "The Organic Chemistry Tutor" YouTube channel.
Chris
how to determine the vertex,focus,directrix and axis of symmetry of the parabola by equations
Bryssen Reply
i want to sure my answer of the exercise
meena Reply
what is the diameter of(x-2)²+(y-3)²=25
Den Reply
how to solve the Identity ?
Barcenas Reply
what type of identity
Jeffrey
Confunction Identity
Barcenas
how to solve the sums
meena
hello guys
meena
For each year t, the population of a forest of trees is represented by the function A(t) = 117(1.029)t. In a neighboring forest, the population of the same type of tree is represented by the function B(t) = 86(1.025)t.
Shakeena Reply
by how many trees did forest "A" have a greater number?
Shakeena
32.243
Kenard
how solve standard form of polar
Rhudy Reply
what is a complex number used for?
Drew Reply
It's just like any other number. The important thing to know is that they exist and can be used in computations like any number.
Steve
I would like to add that they are used in AC signal analysis for one thing
Scott
Good call Scott. Also radar signals I believe.
Steve
They are used in any profession where the phase of a waveform has to be accounted for in the calculations. Imagine two electrical signals in a wire that are out of phase by 90°. At some times they will interfere constructively, others destructively. Complex numbers simplify those equations
Tim
Practice Key Terms 5

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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