In three-dimensional Euclidean space, a plane may be characterized by a point contained in the plane and a vector that is perpendicular, or normal, to the plane.

The equation of the plane containing the point (x_0,y_0,z_0) and perpendicular to the vector \langle a,b,c\rangle is

\langle a,b,c\rangle\cdot[\langle x,y,z\rangle-\langle x_0,y_0,z_0\rangle]=0

(The dot represents the dot product.)

Using the notation \vec r=\langle x,y,z\rangle , \vec r_0=\langle x_0,y_0,z_0\rangle , and \vec n=\langle a,b,c\rangle , the expression becomes

\vec n\cdot(\vec r-\vec r_0)=0


\vec n\cdot\vec r=\vec n\cdot\vec r_0 .

(The vector n is typically called the normal vector.)

Expanding and simplifying the expression, one obtains:




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