Solved: two point 3D distance

Distance calculation between two points in a three-dimensional space is a fundamental concept in many aspects of mathematical, physics, engineering applications, complex algorithms, and gaming applications among others. The ability to programmatically calculate these distances provides an efficient tool not just in problem-solving but also in optimizing results obtained. Matlab, a programming environment famous for numerical computations, is perfect for such tasks.

Calculation of Distance between Two Points in 3D

The distance between two points in a three-dimensional (3D) space can be calculated using the Euclidean Distance formula. For two points P(x1, y1, z1) and Q(x2, y2, z2) in 3D, the distance between P and Q is given as:

sqrt((x2-x1)^2 + (y2-y1)^2 + (z2-z1)^2)

This formula finds wide applications in 3D modeling, graphics, and other real-world applications dealing with spatial concepts.

Matlab Solution to the Problem

Matlab makes it relatively straightforward to implement this calculation. The core function required to calculate this distance is `sqrt`, which returns the square root of a specified number and `power`, which calculates the power of a number.

function distance = calculateDistance(x1, y1, z1, x2, y2, z2)
  distance = sqrt((x2 - x1).^2 + (y2 - y1).^2 + (z2 - z1).^2);

The function defined above `calculateDistance` accepts the coordinates of the two points as input and computes the Euclidean distance.

Step-by-Step Explanation of The Code

  • Firstly, we define a function `calculateDistance` that accepts six arguments, representing the coordinates of the two 3D points.
  • Next, we calculate the difference between the respective coordinates of the two points, square these differences, and sum it up. The `power` function could be used to calculate the square, but the shorthand `.^2` is more straightforward and computationally faster.
  • Finally, we compute the square root of the result using `sqrt` function to get the final distance.

Understanding Matlab Functions Used

Matlab includes a variety of inbuilt functions for mathematical calculations. Two of these functions used in this problem are ‘sqrt’ and ‘power’.

`sqrt` function in Matlab is used to calculate the square root of the numbers. It can work with both scalars and arrays.

`power` function is used to raise each element of an array to the power of a single number or an array of equal size. In this problem, however, we used a shorthand `.^2` which is more computationally efficient when squaring.

This illustrates the power and flexibility of Matlab in efficiently handling numerical computations while providing a high-level interface for easy programming.

For experimenting with these concepts and much more, the Matlab environment, its documentation, and vibrant community provide a wealth of learning resources. From deep theoretical mathematical computations to fun real-world applications, Matlab continues to be an indispensable tool for numerical computation.

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