Parallel Lines - Geometry Made Easy - What are parallel lines?

# Parallel Lines

Two lines are parallel if they can go on forever without ever crossing. You can test this by seeing if you can draw a third line that crosses both lines at right angles (it is perpendicular to them).

Parallel lines can be close together or far apart, but if you connect them with a lot of perpendicular lines (like a ladder), all of the rungs of the ladder will be the same length.

If you have two parallel line segments joined together by two other parallel line segments, that's a rectangle. Triangles have to be made of line segments that are not parallel to each other.

Two planes can also be parallel, if they would never meet no matter how far they extended in all directions. A third plane, crossing both planes at right angles, would be perpendicular to the first two. The opposite sides of a cube are examples of parallel planes.

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Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
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Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

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