Take the 2-minute tour ×
Mathematics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people studying math at any level and professionals in related fields. It's 100% free, no registration required.

What is the difference between intercept and intersect? Can they be used interchangeably? For example, intersecting lines and intercepting lines.

share|improve this question
4  
Intercept seems more appropriate as a noun (e.g. "Find the x-intercepts of f(x)"). Intersect seems more appropriate as a verb (e.g. "Find where f interests the x-axis") –  The Chaz 2.0 Oct 18 '12 at 5:45
add comment

3 Answers 3

There is a temporal element to intercept which is absent from intersect: if two paths are generated respectively by two particles moving through space, the paths may intersect; however, one particle only intercepts the other if both arrive at the point of intersection simultaneously.

share|improve this answer
add comment

The words "intercept" and "intersect" sound very similar but mean different things.

"Intersect" is a binary (two-valued) qualitative property of two or more sets and means that they have points in common, e.g., curves cross or areas overlap etc. Those points in common are called their "intersection." So, for example, every pair of sides of a triangle "intersect" at a point called the vertex of the triangle. In fact the word "vertex" REFERS to the point where two sides of a triangle meet. So as The Chaz commented, "intersect" is a verb.

On the other hand, an "intercept" is a quantitative property of of a curve. It refers to a specific point where the curve INTERSECTS one of the axes of the coordinate system, the particular axis lending its name to identify the intercept, such as "x intercept," etc. So an "intercept" is a particular intersection, usually referring to that point of a curve that is in common (crosses or first touches) another curve, usually a coordinate system axis.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Technically intersection is defined as, it is a meeting point of two variabled curve which varied as time ie, the equations of curves will vary.
But in case of intercept, one curve equation is constant and other is varied as its bounded area.

share|improve this answer
    
I have edited your post to correct grammar at least in places, where I know what words you wanted to use. But I have to admit that I do not understand what you are trying to say. –  Martin Sleziak Mar 22 at 11:40
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.