(x-y)(y-z)(z-x) Formula

3 min read Jun 17, 2024
(x-y)(y-z)(z-x) Formula

Understanding the (x-y)(y-z)(z-x) Formula

The formula (x-y)(y-z)(z-x) is a fascinating expression that often appears in various mathematical contexts, particularly in algebra and geometry. While it might look simple at first glance, it hides a rich set of properties and applications. Let's dive deeper into understanding this formula.

Expanding the Formula

To understand the formula better, let's first expand it:

(x-y)(y-z)(z-x) = (x-y)(zy - z^2 - y^2 + yz) = xyz - x^2z - xy^2 + xyz - y^2z + yz^2 + xy^2 - xyz

This simplifies to:

**(x-y)(y-z)(z-x) = ** xyz - x^2z - y^2z + yz^2

Key Properties

  • Symmetry: Notice that the expanded formula is symmetrical in x, y, and z. This means that if we swap any two variables, the expression remains unchanged.
  • Cyclic Property: Another key property is that the formula exhibits cyclic behavior. If we cyclically permute x, y, and z (e.g., replace x with y, y with z, and z with x), the formula remains the same.


The (x-y)(y-z)(z-x) formula has various applications in different mathematical fields:

  • Algebraic Manipulation: It's helpful in simplifying algebraic expressions, especially when dealing with polynomials or equations involving three variables.
  • Geometry: This formula can be used to find the volume of a parallelepiped defined by three vectors. The volume is directly proportional to the absolute value of (x-y)(y-z)(z-x), where x, y, and z are the components of the vectors.
  • Number Theory: This formula has connections with certain number theory problems, particularly when analyzing the divisibility properties of expressions involving three variables.


The (x-y)(y-z)(z-x) formula is a versatile tool with applications in various mathematical areas. Its symmetry and cyclic properties make it a valuable expression for simplifying and solving problems involving three variables. By understanding its key properties and applications, we can appreciate the rich mathematical structure hidden behind this simple-looking formula.

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