You might already have come across the term vector. A quantity which has magnitude, as well as direction, is represented by a vector. The most common example of a vector in mathematics is a directed line segment. Let us say that a line AB, 5 cm in length, is pointed towards the south. In this case, AB is a vector. There are different types of vectors. Basic mathematical operations can be applied to them as well. In this article, we will talk about a vector which joins two points.

**Vectors Joining Two Points**

We can represent a point by its x coordinate, y coordinate and z coordinate. Let us say there are two points represented by their x-, y- and z- coordinates as:

- P1(x
_{1},y_{1},z_{1}) - P2(x
_{2},y_{2},z_{2})

We join the points P_{1} and P_{2} by a vector and call it as P_{1}P_{2}.

We represent the vectors from the origin O along the x-, y- and z-axes as i, j and k respectively. Now we join the origin O to P_{1} with the vector OP_{1 }and to P_{2} with the vector OP_{2}. Using the triangle law, we get:

Or

\(\overrightarrow{P_{1}P_{2}} = \overrightarrow{OP_{2}}- \overrightarrow{OP_{1}}\)That is,

\(\overrightarrow{P_{1}P_{2}} = (x_{2}\hat{i} + y_{2}\hat{j}+ z_{2}\hat{k}) – (x_{1}\hat{i} + y_{1}\hat{j}+ z_{1}\hat{k})\) \(= (x_{2} – x_{1})\hat{i} + (y_{2} – y_{1} ) \hat{j}+ (z_{2}- z_{1})\hat{k}\)Thus, the above equation represents the vector P_{1}P_{2}. Its magnitude can be given by:

**Example-**

**Question**: Find the vector and its magnitude which joins the point A with coordinates (4, 5, 6) to point B with coordinates (10, 11, 12).

**Solution**: The vector is directed from the point A to B and can be denoted by \(\overrightarrow{AB}\)

Thus,

\(\overrightarrow{AB} = (10 – 4) \hat{i} + (11 – 5) \hat{j} + (12 – 6) \hat{k} = 6 \hat{i} + 6 \hat{j} + 6 \hat{k}\)Magnitude can be given by:

\(\overrightarrow{AB} = \sqrt{6^{2} + 6^{2} + 6^{2}} = \sqrt{108} = 10.39\)To learn more about vectors, section formula and other vector concepts with illustrative examples, by watching interactive video lectures on them, download Byju’s The Learning App.