Analytic formulas for distance between geometric shapes.

Dickinson, John John.Dickinson at
Wed Jul 24 12:29:41 PDT 2002

I am looking for analytic formulas for distance between basic geometric
shapes arbitrarily located and orientated in space.  Any references (papers,
books) would be greatly appreciated.

The Sphere is the easy example as the distance between two spheres in the
distance between their centers minus the sum of their radii.  On the other
hand orientated boxes can't be done analytically but must be done face by

How about other shapes formed by implicit quadratic equations (eggs,
ovaloids, ...) that form not purely symmetric shapes which can be orientated
inspace. Do any of these shapes have analytic formulae for distance?


-((Insert standard disclaimer here))-|---  Ray's Rule for Precision ----
John Kenneth Dickinson, Ph.D.        |   "Measure with micrometer;
Research Council Officer  IMTI-NRC   |    Mark with chalk;
email: john.dickinson at         |    Cut with axe."

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