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Difference between a Line and a Ray

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  • Last Updated : 01 Feb, 2022
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The word ‘geometry’ is the English equivalent of the Greek word ‘geometron’. ‘Geo’ means Earth and ‘Metron’ means Measure. Even today geometric ideas are reflected in many forms of art, measurement, textile, designing, engineering, etc. All objects have different sizes. For example, the geometry of the ruler you use is different from the pencil you use to write directly.

Line 

The line is a collection of points in a straight path.  It has no endpoint and no fixed length. A Line is one-dimensional. The line has length but no width. A line is made up of a set of points that extend infinitely in opposite directions. For example, a square is made up of four lines of equal length, while a triangle is made up of three lines joined at the ends.               

Ray 

Ray is a part of the line. It has one endpoint and no fixed length. A ray can be extended infinitely in any one direction. Sunlight is an example of a ray. A ray is also called a half-line. We do not measure the length of a ray.

Difference between Line and Ray 

The definitions of both line and ray are mentioned above. Lets now understand the difference between line and ray in tabular form,

Line

Ray

1. Line extends forever in both directions. 1. Ray starts at one point and continues on forever in one direction.
2. It has no endpoints and the number of lines can be drawn through a point. 2. It has one end point and a number of rays can be drawn with the same initial point.
3. It has no definite length. 3. It has no definite length.
4. For Example Pencil, Ruler, Paper. 4. For Example Flashlight, Sunrays, Projector, Arrows.
5. Symbol of Line: ——— 5. Symbol of Ray:  

Types of Line             

  1. Horizontal Lines: It is a line that moves from left to right in a straight direction (⇢).
  2. Vertical Lines: It is a line that runs from top to bottom in a straight direction ()
  3. Parallel Lines: It is the line when two straight lines do not meet or intersect at any point then they are parallel to each other.

Conceptual Questions 

Question 1: Is Ray a part of the line?

Answer: 

Yes, A Ray is a part of a line because the ray has a fixed starting point but does not have an endpoint. 

Question 2: Can Opposite Ray form a line?

Answer: 

Yes, Opposite Ray always forms a Straight line because pair of opposite rays are 2 rays that have the same endpoint and it extends in opposite directions.

Question 3: How do you know if a line is a ray?

Answer: 

A line segment has two endpoints and a ray has only one endpoint. So, a line is not a ray.

Question 4: Can Opposite rays have a common endpoint?

Answer: 

Yes, Opposite Ray has a common endpoint because it extends in opposite directions and forms a line.

Question 5: Does Ray have a midpoint?

Answer: 

No, Ray does not have a midpoint because it has only one end.                                                   

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