Difference Between Parallel and Perpendicular

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Difference Between Parallel and Perpendicular

The difference between parallel and perpendicular is that parallel lines do not intersect and form the same angle when they cross another line. While the perpendicular lines intersect at a 90-degree angle, forming a square corner. We can identify these lines using angles and symbols in diagrams.

What is Parallel?

Parallel lines are straight lines in geometry that never cross. This table provides an overview of the definition, properties, equation, symbol, and real-life examples related to Parallel lines .

Parallel Lines Diagram
Parallel Lines
Definition of Parallel LinesTwo or more straight lines lying in the same plane that never intersect. They are equidistant from each other and have the same slope.
Properties of Parallel Lines– Always the same distance apart 
– Never intersect 
– Corresponding angles are equal 
– Alternate interior angles are equal 
– Alternate exterior angles are equal 
– Consecutive interior angles on the same side of the transversal are supplementary 
– Vertically opposite angles are equal
Equation of Parallel LinesThe equation is in the slope-intercept form: y = mx + b, where ‘m’ is the slope (always the same for parallel lines) and ‘b’ is the y-intercept.
The symbol for Parallel LinesDenoted by ‘
Real-life Examples of Parallel LinesExamples include railway tracks, zebra crossings, and staircase railings.

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What is Perpendicular?

In geometry, two geometric objects are perpendicular if their intersection forms right angles at the point of intersection called a foot. This table provides a structured overview of the information related to perpendicular lines.

Perpendicular Lines
Perpendicular Lines
Definition of Perpendicular Lines
Two distinct lines intersecting each other at a right angle are called perpendicular lines.
Perpendicular SymbolPerpendicular lines are represented by the symbol ‘⊥’.
Properties of Perpendicular Lines– Always intersect at right angles 
– If perpendicular to the same line, they are parallel to each other 
– Adjacent sides of a square and rectangle are perpendicular 
– Sides of a right-angled triangle enclosing the right angle are perpendicular
Difference from Parallel LinesPerpendicular lines intersect at a 90-degree angle, while parallel lines are always the same distance apart and never intersect.
Examples of Perpendicular LinesExamples include the sides of a set square, the arms of a clock, the corners of a blackboard, window frames, and the Red Cross symbol.
Construction of Perpendicular LinesPerpendicular lines can be drawn using a protractor or a compass.

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What is the Difference Between Parallel and Perpendicular

This table provides a comparison between parallel and perpendicular lines, highlighting their key characteristics, symbols, examples, equations, and properties.

CharacteristicParallel Lines
Perpendicular Lines
DefinitionTwo lines in the same plane that never intersect.
Two lines that intersect at a right angle (90 degrees).
IntersectionNever intersect.Always intersect at a right angle.
Distance ApartAlways the same distance apart.N/A (Not applicable – as perpendicular lines intersect)
ExamplesRailway tracks, opposite sides of a whiteboard.The letter L, the joining walls of a room.
EquationsSlopes are equal.Slopes are negative reciprocals of each other (product of slopes = -1).
Example Equationsy = -3x + 6 and y = -3x – 4
(slopes are both -3)
y = 1/4x + 3 and y = – 4x + 2
(slope of one line is the negative reciprocal of the other)
Characteristic Properties– Always equidistant from each other
– Never meet at any common point
– Lie in the same plane.
– Always intersect at 90°
– All perpendicular lines can be termed as intersecting lines
– Need to intersect at right angles to be considered perpendicular
Equation Conditionsm1 = m2
(where m1 and m2 are the slopes of two lines that are parallel)
m1 × m2 = -1
(where m1 and m2 are the slopes of two lines that are perpendicular)

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Parallel and Perpendicular Formulas 

Parallel lines have the same slope and different y-intercepts. The slope-intercept form (y = mx + b) helps identify parallel lines as they share the same slope (m). Perpendicular lines have negative reciprocal slopes. To find perpendicular lines, flip the slope and change its sign. This relationship ensures a 90-degree angle between lines.

Application of Parallel and Perpendicular in Real Life

The concepts of parallel and perpendicular are very useful. Application of parallel and perpendicular in real life typically includes:

  • Parallel lines ensure traffic flow efficiency.
  • Perpendicular lines ensure structural stability and alignment.
  • Grid layouts enhance navigation and development efficiency.
  • Lines convey movement and perspective in compositions.
  • Parallel lines facilitate efficient signal flow in circuits.
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What is the difference between parallel and perpendicular force?

Parallel forces act in the same direction, while perpendicular forces act at right angles to each other.

Which way is parallel and perpendicular?

Parallel lines extend in the same direction and never intersect. Perpendicular lines intersect at a 90-degree angle, forming right angles where they meet.

When are two lines parallel and perpendicular?

Two lines are parallel if they have the same slope and never intersect. They are perpendicular if their slopes are negative reciprocals of each other, resulting in their intersection at a 90-degree angle.

What is the difference between parallel and perpendicular unit vectors?

A parallel unit vector points in the same direction as the given vector, whereas a perpendicular unit vector points in a direction perpendicular to the given vector.

Is pressure parallel or perpendicular?

Pressure can be both parallel and perpendicular depending on the context. For example, in fluid dynamics, pressure can act in all directions within a fluid, including parallel and perpendicular to a surface.

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