In this Section:
In this section, we learn about something known as the distance formula. This formula allows us to find the distance between two points on the coordinate plane. It is a direct application of square roots and the Pythagorean theorem. The Pythagorean theorem tells us about the relationship between the legs in a right triangle. We want to begin by labeling the three legs in a right triangle as: leg a, leg b, and leg c. Leg c is the hypotenuse or leg that is opposite of the 90 degree angle. Our Pythagorean theorem states that leg a squared plus leg b squared is equal to leg c (hypotenuse) squared. We can use this formula along with our knowledge of square roots to derive the distance formula.