Distance Between Points on a Number Line
If a and b are any two points on a number line, then the distance between
a and b is given by
| a - b | or | b - a |.
Absolute value is used because
distance is cannot be a negative number.
Find the distance on a number line between -6 and 4.
Let a = -6 and b = 4.
Find the absolute value.
The distance between -6 and 4 is 10 units.
| | a - b |
= | -6 - 4 |
= | -10 |
We could also find the distance between -6 and 4 by computing | 4 - (-6) |.