# Why does cross product give a vector which is perpendicular to a plane

I was wondering if anyone could give me the intuition behind the cross product of two vectors $\textbf{a}$ and $\textbf{b}$. Why does their cross product $\textbf{n} = \textbf{a} \times \textbf{b}$ give me a vector which is perpendicular to a plane?

I know I can just check this by using dot product but I’m not totally satisfied with “it just works” answer =)

Thank you for any help! =)

The determinant formula isn’t so mysterious. Consider the cross product $\mathbf{v} = \langle a,b,c \rangle \times \langle d,e,f \rangle$ as the formal determinant
where $\mathbf{i}, \mathbf{j}, \mathbf{k}$ are the standard basis vectors. If instead one considers $\mathbf{i}, \mathbf{j}, \mathbf{k}$ as indeterminates and substitutes $x, y, z$ for them, this determinant computes the dot product $\mathbf{v} \cdot \langle x, y, z \rangle$. But letting $\langle x, y, z \rangle$ be $\langle a, b, c \rangle$ or $\langle d, e, f \rangle$ gives a zero determinant, so $\mathbf{v}$ is perpendicular to the latter two vectors, hence to the plane they span, as Omnomnomnom says.