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Anca Mustata

Euclidean Geometry
Contents
1. Euclid’s geometry as a theory, 3
2. Basic objects and terms, 3
2.1. Angles, 4
2.2. The circle, 5
2.3. The polygon, 5
2.4. The triangle, 5
2.5. Parallel lines, 5
3. Axioms of Euclidean geometry, 6
3.1. Convexity, 7
4. Direct consequences of the axioms, 7
4.1. Angle measures, 7
5. Tessellations, 10
6. Congruent triangles, 12
7. Triangles in parallelograms, 14
7.1. Special parallelograms, 15
8. The Pythagorean theorem, 17
9. Special lines in a triangle, 18
9.1. Angle bisector, 18
9.2. Constructing angle bisectors, 18
9.3. The perpendicular bisector, 20
9.4. Altitudes, 21
9.5. Median, 25
10. Circles, 28
10.1. Secants and tangents, 28
10.2. Arcs and angles, 30
11. Similar triangles, 33
12. The nine-point circle, 35
13. Menelaus and Ceva theorems, 36
References, 37
Index, 38

Warning: please read this text with a pencil at hand, as you will need to draw
your own pictures to illustrate some statements.

2
3

1. Euclid’s geometry as a theory

God is always doing geometry


— Plato, according to Plutarch [6]

These words suggest the reverence with which this branch of mathematics was regarded
by thinkers in the ancient world. They saw geometry as managing to extract proportions,
order and symmetry from the seemingly chaotic nature, thus making its beauty accessible
to the reasoning mind. For us as well, geometry is a bridge from visual representations of
the world to abstract logical thinking. This makes it a wonderful education tool. Indeed,
since our perception of the world is embedded in sensorial experiences, what better way to
develop a solid basis for our abstract thinking than to combine our visual intuition with
logical deductions?
It is for these reasons that an ancient geometry text has been referred to as the most
famous and influential textbook ever written. The Elements is a collection of thirteen
mathematical books attributed to Euclid, who taught at Alexandria in Egypt and lived
from about 325 BC to 265 BC. This is the earliest known historical example of a mathe-
matical theory based on the axiomatic and logical deduction method.
A mathematical theory consists of
• a set of basic objects described by definitions,
• a set of basic assumptions about these objects: the axioms, and
• a set of statements derived from the axioms by logical reasoning.
– the most important of these are theorems,
– while less important statements are propositions,
– and corollaries are direct consequences of some previous statement,
– and lemmas are helpful in proving further propositions or theorems.
Each theorem, proposition or lemma consists of a hypothesis (set of assumptions), which
is what we know, and a conclusion: what we have to prove. These should be followed
by a proof , meaning a chain of statements related by logical implications, which starts
from the hypothesis, combines it with the axioms and/or statements already proven, and
arrives at the conclusion.

2. Basic objects and terms

All human knowledge begins with intuitions, thence passes to concepts and
ends with ideas.
— Immanuel Kant
Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Elementarlehle

Euclid’s geometry assumes an intuitive grasp of basic objects like points, straight lines,
segments, and the plane. These could be considered as primitive concepts, in the sense that
they cannot be described in terms of simpler concepts. However, Euclid attempts some
definitions by means of other intuitive notions like position, breath and length, in-between.
Some of these definitions are included below in italics for your enjoyment; you do not need
to remember them, but you do need to know the definitions of more complex objects like
the circle or a polygon, or relations between them like concurrence, perpendicularity, etc.
4

Here we loosely follow [3] in giving a rough guide to our primitive concepts, and using
them to define various related concepts.
“A point is that of which there is no part.” A point is usually denoted by an upper
case letter.
“A straight line is length without breadth, which lies evenly with points on itself.” A
straight line is usually denoted by a lower case letter. We will think of a line as a set of
points. Write A ∈ d if A is a point on the line d. Alternatively, we may denote a line by
any two points on it: d = AB.
d A B
b b

Note: C ∈ AB means that C is a point on the line AB, namely C can be in any one of
these 3 positions:
C
b
A
b
B
b

A
b
C
b
B
b

A
b
B
b
C
b

A point A on a line d divides the line into two half-lines, or rays. Two points A and B
on the line d determine the segment [AB], made of all the points between A and B. This
segment may also be denoted by AB.
A
b
B
b

[AB]
If three or more lines intersect at a point, they are concurrent at that point. If three
or more points are on the same line, they are collinear.
“A surface is that which has length and breadth. When a surface is such that the line
joining any two arbitrary points in it lies wholly in the surface, it is a plane.” A line in a
plane divides the plane in two half-planes.

2.1. Angles. In a plane, consider two half-planes bounded by two lines concurrent at the
point O. The intersection of the two half-planes is an angle. The two lines are the legs,
and the point the vertex of the angle. A particular angle in a figure is denoted by three
\ of which the middle one, A, is at the vertex, and the other two along the
letters, as BAC,
legs. The angle is then read BAC.
B
b

A
b α
b
C

The angle formed by joining two or more angles together is their sum. Thus the sum
of the two angles ABC, P QR is the angle formed by applying the side QP to the side
BC, so that the vertex Q falls on the vertex B, and the side QR on the opposite side of
BC from BA.
When the sum of two angles BAC, CAD is such that the legs BA, AD form one
straight line, they are supplements of each other.
5

When one line stands on another, and makes the adjacent angles at both sides of itself
equal, each of the angles is a right angle, and the line which stands on the other is a
perpendicular to it.
b

b b

Hence a right angle is equal to its supplement. An acute angle is one which is less than
b

b b

a right angle. An obtuse angle is one which is greater than a right angle.
b

b b
The supplement of an acute angle is obtuse, and conversely, the supplement
of an obtuse angle is acute.
When the sum of two angles is a right angle,each is the complement of the other.

2.2. The circle. A circle is a plane figure formed by a curve, the circumference, and is
such that all segments drawn from a certain point within the figure to the circumference
are equal to one another; this point is the centre. A radius of a circle is any right line
drawn from the centre to the circumference. A diameter of a circle is a right line drawn
through the centre and terminated both ways by the circumference. Four or more points
found on the same circle are concyclic.

2.3. The polygon. A figure bounded by three or more segments is a polygon. The
segments are the sides of the polygon.

b
C

B b

b
D

b
b
A E

A polygon of three sides is a triangle. A polygon of four sides is a quadrilateral. A polygon


which has five sides is a pentagon; one which has six sides is a hexagon, and so on.

2.4. The triangle. A triangle whose three sides are unequal is scalene; a triangle having
two sides equal is isosceles; and, having all its sides equal, is equilateral. A right-angled
triangle is one that has one of its angles a right angle. The side which subtends the right
angle is the hypotenuse. An obtuse-angled triangle is one that has one of its angles obtuse.
An acute-angled triangle is one that has its three angles acute. An exterior angle of a
triangle is one that is formed by any side and the continuation of another side. Hence
a triangle has six exterior angles; and also each exterior angle is the supplement of the
adjacent interior angle.

2.5. Parallel lines. are straight-lines which, being in the same plane, and being continued
to infinity in each direction, meet with one another in neither (of these directions).
6

3. Axioms of Euclidean geometry


Postulates:
1) A unique straight line segment can be drawn joining any two distinct points.
2) Any straight line segment is contained in a unique straight line.
3) Given any straight line segment, a unique circle can be drawn having the segment
as radius and one endpoint as center.
4) All right angles are congruent.
5) Given a point not on a given line, there exists a unique line through that point
parallel to the given line.
Common notions:
1) Things which are equal to the same thing are also equal to one another.
2) If equals be added to equals, the wholes are equal. In other words, if a1 = a2 and
b1 = b2 then a1 + b1 = a2 + b2 . This is true for numbers as well as for segments
and angles.
3) If equals be subtracted from equals, the remainders are equal. In other words, if
a1 = a2 and b1 = b2 then a1 − b1 = a2 − b2 .
4) Things which coincide with one another are equal to one another. In other words,
if we can move a figure (angle or segment) to fit exactly on top of the other, then
it means they are equal (in terms of size).
5) The whole is greater than the part. In other words, we can show an object to
be smaller than another object by moving the smaller object until it fits inside the
larger one, thus becoming a part of it.
The common notions can be extended to say that the segments and angles can be
measured by real numbers, and as such, they satisfy all the properties expected of real
numbers.
In truth, Euclid’s axioms are not sufficient for formally deducing the theorems of Eu-
clidean geometry, or even for defining notions like “equal things,” or for comparing angles
and segments. Apart from the axioms, Euclid also relied on other “common sense” intuitive
notions like rigid movement, and basic notions of topology of the plane like boundaries,
interior and exterior of a figure, and so on.
The notion of rigid movement is necessary when comparing geometric objects. A rigid
movement of a geometric figure in plane can be understood as cutting the figure out of
a sheet of paper representing the plane and placing it in a different place in the plane.
In practice, we don’t cut figures out in order to move them – we clone them! (copy
them exactly) by means of markings on a ruler (for segments) or protractor (for angles).
As a basic tenet of Euclidean geometry, you can thus move any geometric figure found
somewhere in the plane to any other position in plane. Interestingly, Euclid put effort
into proving this tenet for movements of segments, while taking it for granted in the case
of angles. Rigid motion by means of a ruler and protractor is so ingrained in our way of
doing geometry that we don’t even notice how the notion of measure (centimeters, meters,
inches etc. for segments, and degrees for angles) is in fact an indirect process resulting
from being able to compare and add objects by moving them in the correct places.
Two geometric figures X and Y are congruent if one can move the first figure and
superpose it exactly on top of the second figure, such that the points of the two figures
now coincide. In this case we write X ≡ Y . A segment AB is smaller than another one
CD if one can move the segment AB until A coincides with D and B is in between C and
D. Similarly, an angle AOB is smaller than CO′ D if one can move AOB such that O
falls over O′ , the line OA over O′ C ′ , and B is in the interior of the angle CO′ D.
7

3.1. Convexity. A line cuts any plane into two sides, the half-planes. A segment inter-
sects the line if and only if the end-points of the segment are on different sides of the
line.
b

A bounded figure is convex if, for any two points A and B in the interior of the figure, the
segment AB is also in the interior of the figure.

The polygon CDEF G is convex, but HIJKLM is not convex. If a line contains a point
found in the interior of a convex figure, then it intersects that figure in exactly two points.

b b

Even after gathering all these extra basic assumptions in a set of axioms, there would
be some work to be done. One would have to eliminate the superfluous assumptions, i.e.
those which can be considered as theorems or propositions based on the other axioms.
For example, we do not need to assume rigid motion for all figures—only for angles and
segments. On the other hand, Euclid proved that a segment can be moved to any other
position if we assume that two circles, each passing through the interior of the other, inter-
sect. Another problem may appear if some of the axioms introduced actually contradict
other axioms. To prove that the axioms are not contradictory, one would have to construct
a model of the plane for which all the axioms hold true, using other known mathematical
objects like numbers, vector spaces, etc.
Towards the end of the 19th century, David Hilbert began an immense effort to con-
struct a sound axiomatic basis for each area of mathematics. His lectures at the university
of Göttingen in 1898–1899, published under the title Foundations of Geometry, pro-
posed a larger set of axioms substituting the traditional axioms of Euclid. Hilbert proved
that his axioms are independent and non-contradictory (relying on algebra and coordinates
to construct a model of the plane satisfying his axioms). Since then, the algebraic/analytic
approach to Euclidian geometry has become dominant. Time permitting, we will discuss
Hilbert’s approach towards the end of the course.
Independently and contemporaneously, a 19-year-old American student named Robert
Lee Moore published an equivalent set of axioms. Some of the axioms coincide, while
some of the axioms in Moore’s system are theorems in Hilbert’s and vice-versa.

4. Direct consequences of the axioms


4.1. Angle measures. Define 1◦ as the 90-th part of a right angle, i.e. the measure of
an angle α such that 90 copies of α add up to a right angle. This definition makes sense
due to Euclid’s Postulate (4). Euclid doesn’t tell us that such an angle α exists! But our
intuition about the continuous nature of the plane tells us that α exists.
Degrees are defined based on the notion of right angles (and the assumption that they
are all equal), so if you try to define a right angle as being 90◦ , your definitions would be
moving in circles. Similarly if you tried to define supplements as summing up to 180◦ .
8

Proposition 4.1 (Opposite angles). Consider a line AB, a point O on it in between A


and B, and two points C and D in plane, on each side of the line AB respectively. Then
\ = BOD.
the points C, D and O are collinear if and only if AOC \

b
C B
b

O
b

Ab
D
b

Proof. Here “If and only if” means that you have to prove two statements:
\ = BOD
a) If the points C, D and O are collinear then the angles AOC \ are equal.
\ = BOD
b) If AOC \ then C, D and O are collinear.
\
Prove a) by first noticing that supplements add up to 180◦ , and then that both AOC
\ \
and BOD are supplements of the same angle BOC. Prove b) by contradiction. Assuming
C, D and O are not collinear, extend the line CO on the other side of AB by OE and
\ = BOE.
then use a) to prove that BOD \ Argue (using one of the common notions) that
in this case the lines OE and OD should coincide. 

Remember Euclid’s Postulate 5): Given a point not on a given line, there exists a
unique line through that point parallel to the given line. In general, if a straight line l
intersects two other straight lines a and b, the sum of the interior angles on the same side
of l satisfies one of the following properties:

b b

b
b

a b
b

b b b b b b b

b
l
b

b
b

sum = 180◦ sum < 180◦ sum > 180◦

In the first case, we expect that the lines do not intersect. Two lines a and b in the plane
which do not intersect (no matter how far we extend them) are parallel, denoted a k b.

Theorem 4.2 (Parallel lines I). Let AB and CD be two distinct lines crossed by another
\
line at the points P and Q like in the figure below. Then AB k CD if and only if BP Q+
P\QD = 180◦ .

A P B
b b b

b
C Q
b b
D
9

Proof. The proof has two parts.


a) We assume that BP\ \
Q+ P QD = 180◦ and prove AB k CD. Proof by contradiction:
Assume AB 6k CD. Then AB meets CD at a point M , on one side of the line P Q,
for example on the same side as B and D.

b
N b
A b
P b
B b
M

b
b

C b
D
Q

Then on the other side of the line P Q we can construct a point N such that
△M QP ≡ △N P Q. Indeed, it is sufficient to choose N on the line AB such that
|P N | = |QM |. Then

\
M \
QP = 180◦ − M \
PQ = N P Q,

the last equality being due to the fact that M, B, P, A, N form a line. Thus by
\
placing the angle M QP on top of the angle N\P Q so that Q is placed on top of P
and P on top of Q, then △M QP can fit exactly on top of △N QP which means
that the two triangles are congruent.
On the other hand, this implies that

\
N \
QP = M \
P Q = 180◦ − N \
P Q = 180◦ − M QP ,

so the points M, D, Q, C, P are collinear. Since M, B, P, A, N also form a line, this


would mean that the lines AB and CD are not distinct, which contradicts the
hypothesis. The contradiction is due to our assumption that AB 6k CD. It follows
that AB k CD.
b) We assume: AB k CD. We prove: BP \ Q+P \ QD = 180◦ . Proof by contradiction:
\
We can construct a line P E such that BP Q + P \ QE = 180◦ , with D and E on the
same side of line P Q. Then by Part a), it follows that AB k QE. As we know
AB k QD and Euclid’s 5th Postulate states that through the point Q there should
pass a unique line parallel to AB, it follows that Q, E, D are collinear and hence
\
P QD = P\ QE. Thus BP\ Q+P \ QD = 180◦ as required.


Theorem 4.3 (Parallel lines II). The following statements are equivalent:
(p) AB k CD
(a1) \
BP Q+P \ QD = 180◦ : two interior consecutive angles add up to 180◦ .
(a2) \
AP Q+P \QC = 180◦ : two interior consecutive angles add up to 180◦ .
(b1) \
P \
QD = AP Q: two alternate angles are equal.
(b2) \
BP Q=P \ QC: two alternate angles are equal.
(c1) \
EP A=P \ QC: two corresponding angles are equal.
(c2) \ \
EP B = P QD: two corresponding angles are equal.
(c3) \
QP B=F \ QD: two corresponding angles are equal.
(c4) \
F \
QC = QP A: two corresponding angles are equal.
10

b E
A
b
P b
B
b

C
b
Q
b
D
b

b F

Proof. Theorem 4.2 proves that (p), (a1) and (a2) are equivalent. To prove that (a1)
holds if and only if (b1) holds, note that both
\
AP \
Q + QP \
B = 180◦ and P \
QD + QP B = 180◦ .
Proof that (a) holds if and only if (c1) holds, and all the other equivalences, can be proven
in a similar way. 

Theorem 4.4. The sum of all the interior angles of a triangle is 180◦ .

b
D b
A b
E

b b
B C

Proof. Consider △ABC. There exists a unique line DE passing through A such that
DE k BC, like in the diagram. Using the crossing lines AB and AC, the previous
theorem implies:
\ = BAD
ABC \ and ACB \ = CAE \
(pairs of alternate angles). Then
\ + BAC
ABC \ + ACB
\ = BAD
\ + BAC
\ + CAE,
\
\
= DAE,
= 180◦ .


5. Tessellations
A polygon is regular if all of its sides are equal and all of its angles are equal. A
tessellation or tiling of the plane is a collection of plane figures that fills the plane with no
overlaps and no gaps. The classic two-dimensional picture of a beehive is a tiling made
out of regular hexagons. This makes the beehive into a sturdy construction, comfortable
for the bees and suitable for their communal life. But why don’t the bees construct their
beehives out of pentagonal, or octagonal shapes? In mathematical terms, we could pose
this question as follows:
Question 1. For which integer numbers n ≥ 3 does there exist a tiling of the plane by
identical regular n-sided polygons?
Idea for solution. To approach this problem, we assume that there exists a tiling by
identical regular n-sided polygons, and look at all the angles around a vertex A of the
11

tiling. Their sum is 360◦ , and they are all equal to each other. It would be helpful if we
knew the size of one such angle:
Question 2. What is the size of an interior angle of a regular polygon with n sides?
For this, it would be helpful if we knew
Question 3. What is the sum of all the sizes of all interior angles of a polygon with n
sides?
Finally something we can start to answer right away:
Answer 3. Denote by S(n) the sum of all the sizes of all interior angles of a polygon
with n sides.
n angle
3 180◦
4 360◦
5 540◦

Indeed, S(3) = 180◦ is known; the interior of a quadrilateral can be split into 2 triangles,
and a pentagon into 3 triangles. We can thus prove

(5.1) S(n) = (n − 2)180◦

by induction on n. For the induction step, we assume S(n) = (n − 2)180◦ and need to
prove S(n + 1) = (n − 1)180◦ . For this, we split the interior of a polygon of (n + 1) sides
into one of n sides and a triangle. Thus S(n + 1) = S(n) + 180◦ from our construction,
and S(n) = (n − 2)180◦ from our assumption. Putting these together we get S(n + 1) =
(n − 1)180◦ . Now we have
Question 2. What is the size of an interior angle of a regular polygon with n sides?
Answer 2. An interior angle of a regular polygon with n sides measures (n−2) n
180◦ :

sides angles
3 60◦
4 90◦
5 108◦
6 120◦

Question 1. For which integer numbers n ≥ 3 does there exist a tiling of the plane by
identical regular n-sided polygons?
Answer 1. We return now to our tiling by identical regular n-sided polygons, and
assume that there are k angles around a vertex A of the tiling, for an unknown integer k.
Answer 2) above leads to the equation

(n − 2) 2n
k 180◦ = 360◦ , or, after simplifying, k = .
n n−2
2n
Since k = n−2 is a whole number, n−2 divides 2n. But n−2 also divides 2(n−2) = 2n−4,
and so n − 2 divides 4, i.e. n − 2 = 1, 2 or 4, so n = 3, 4 or 6.

Exercise. Find all pairs of integer numbers m > n ≥ 3 such that there exists a tiling of
the plane made only of regular polygons of n sides and m sides. For each pair, make a
sketch of a possible tiling.
Hint: Solve the equation k n−2
n
+ l m−2
m
= 2 case by case. Note that in this case k, l ≥ 1.
Start with the case k = 1, n = 3. Then l m−2 m
= 35 or, equivalently, m−2
m
5
= 3l . When
l = 1, 3 or 4, the equation has no integer solution m. When l = 2, we get m = 12. When
l = 5 we get m = n = 3. If l > 5 then m < 3 which contradicts our basic assumption
about m.
12

Continue with the case k = 2, n = 3 etc.:

k n l m
1 3 2 12
2 3 2 6
3 3 2 4
4 3 1 6
1 4 2 8

6. Congruent triangles
Two triangles △ABC and △A′ B ′ C ′ are congruent if one can be superposed exactly on
the other such that the point A coincides with A′ , the point B with B ′ and the point C
with C ′ . In this case we write
△ABC ≡ △A′ B ′ C ′ .
Corresponding parts of congruent triangles are congruent:
|AB| = |A′ B ′ |, Â = Â′ ,
|AC| = |A′ C ′ |, B̂ = B̂ ′ ,
|BC| = |B ′ C ′ |, Ĉ = Ĉ ′ .
Theorem 6.1 (Side-Angle-Side or SAS). If two triangles △ABC and △A′ B ′ C ′ satisfy

b
A b
A′

Bb b
C B ′b b
C′

|AB| = |A′ B ′ | 
 = Â′ then: △ABC ≡ △A′ B ′ C ′
′ ′ 
|AC| = |A C |

Proof. Since  = Â′ , we can superpose the two angles such that the rays AB and A′ B ′
coincide, and the rays AC and A′ C ′ coincide. Then on the ray AB, we measure a length
segment |AB| = |A′ B ′ |. This will place B ′ exactly in the same place as B. Similarly for
C and C ′ . 
Theorem 6.2 (Angle-Side-Angle or ASA). If two triangles △ABC and △A′ B ′ C ′ satisfy
b
A b
A′

B b b
C B′ b b
C′


 = Â′ 
|AB| = |A′ B ′ | then: △ABC ≡ △A′ B ′ C ′ .
B̂ = B̂ ′ 

Proof. Since |AB| = |A′ B ′ |, we can superpose the two segments such that A and A′
coincide, and B and B ′ coincide. Then since  = Â′ , we can superpose the ray A′ C ′ on
AC. Since B̂ = B̂ ′ , we can superpose the ray B ′ C ′ on BC. Thus C, the intersection of
AC and BC, will coincide with C ′ , the intersection of A′ C ′ and B ′ C ′ will coincide with
. 
13

As an application we have:
Theorem 6.3 (Isosceles triangle). Consider a triangle ABC. The following two state-
ments are equivalent:
(1) △ABC is isosceles with |AB| = |AC|.
(2) B̂ = Ĉ.

Ab

B b b
C

Proof.
a) We assume (1) △ABC is isosceles with |AB| = |AC|. We prove (2)B̂ = Ĉ by
comparing △ABC with its flip along the vertical axis △ACB as follows:

|AB| = |AC| 
\ = ACB
ABC \ SAS: △ABC ≡ △ACB
|BC| = |CB|

Thus also B̂ = Ĉ.


b) We assume (2)B̂ = Ĉ. We then prove (1) |AB| = |AC| by showing that △ABC ≡
△ACB by (ASA).

Theorem 6.4 (Side-Side-Side or SSS). If two triangles △ABC and △A′ B ′ C ′ satisfy
|AB| = |A′ B ′ |
)
|AC| = |A′ C ′ | then: △ABC ≡ △A′ B ′ C ′ .
|BC| = |B ′ C ′ |
Proof. With no assumptions about angles, we cannot complete the superposing argument
as before. We will then return to proof by contradiction. Place △A′ B ′ C ′ on the same
side of the line AB as △ABC, such that the segment [A′ B ′ ] is superposed on [AB], i.e.
such that B ′ coincides with B and A′ with A, but assume that C 6= C ′ . This can happen
in several cases:
a) If C ′ is in the interior of the triangle ABC.

b
C

b
C′

b
A b
B

From the assumption SSS, the triangles ACC ′ and BCC ′ are isosceles with |AC| =
|AC ′ | and |BC| = |BC ′ |, which by the previous Theorem implies
\′ = AC
ACC \ \′ = BC
′ C and BCC \ ′ C.
14

Adding up:
(6.1) \ = ACC
ACB \′ + BCC
\′ = AC
\ \
′ C + BC \
′ C = 360◦ − AC ′ B.

\ < 180◦ and on the other hand AC


But ACB \ ′ B < 180◦ , so 360◦ − AC\ ′ B > 180◦ .

Contradiction with the equality 6.1! Thus C ′ is not in the interior of the triangle
ABC.
b) If C is in the interior of the triangle ABC ′ , we repeat the same proof as in Case
1., after swapping C ′ and C.
\′ = AC
c) Like in Part a), ACC \ \′ = BC
′ C and BCC \ ′ C.

C′ b
C
b

b
A b
B

\ = −AC
This time by subtracting, we get ACB \ ′ B which is impossible, since one is

positive and the other one negative.




7. Triangles in parallelograms
A quadrilateral whose opposite sides are parallel is a parallelogram.
Theorem 7.1 (Parallelogram). Let ABCD be a quadrilateral. The following statements
are equivalent:

a) ABCD is a parallelogram.
b) AB k CD and |AB| = |CD|.
c) The diagonals AC and BD intersect at their midpoint.
d) |AB| = |CD| and |BC| = |AD|.

b b
B C

b
E

A b b
D

Proof. The four statements a)-d) are equivalent if each of them implies any other among
them. Thus it seems that we would have to prove a total of 12 implications! (check that
15

12 is the correct number). However, we can considerably shorten our work by following a
diagram like this one:
Part a)
a) b)
Part d) Part b)

d) Part c)
c)

Note that we can connect any two points in the diagram by a sequence of arrows. Other
strategies (arrow diagrams) can be designed for the same problem, but this is one of the
shortest with just 4 implications.
a) We assume a) and prove b). We only need to prove |AB| = |CD|. Note that
BC k AD so BDA\ = DBC.\

\ = CDB
ABD \ 
|BD| = |DB| ASA: △BDA ≡ △DBC
\ = DBC
BDA \ 

So |AB| = |CD|.
b) We assume b) and prove c). Let E denote the intersection point of the diagonals.
\ = CDB.
Alternate angles in ABkCD give ABD \ Alternate angles in ABkCD give
\ \
BAC = DCA.

\ = ECD
EAB \ 
|AB| = |CD| ASA: △ABE ≡ △CDE
\ \
ABE = CDE

so |AE| = |CE| and |BE| = |DE|.


\ = DEC.
c) We assume c) and prove d). By opposite angles, BEA \

|AE| = |CE| 
\ \
AEB = CED SAS: △AEB ≡ △CED
|EB| = |ED|

so |AB| = |CD|. Similarly, we can prove △CBE ≡ △ADE and hence |CB| = |AD|.
d) We assume d) and prove a).
|AB| = |CD|
)
|BC| = |DA| SSS: △ABC ≡ △CDA
|AC| = |CA|
\ = DCA
So BAC \ and ACB
\ = CAD.
\ So AB k CD and BC k AD by the theorem
on parallel lines.


7.1. Special parallelograms. A quadrilateral with four right angles is a rectangle. A


rectangle is a parallelogram by the Theorem on parallel lines (4.3).
Theorem 7.2 (Rectangle). Let ABCD be a quadrilateral. The following statements are
equivalent:
a) ABCD is a rectangle.
b) The diagonals AC and BD intersect at their midpoint and |AC| = |BD|.

Proof.
16

a) Assume a) and prove b). By the theorem on parallelograms, |AB| = |CD|.



|BA| = |CD| 
\ = CDA
BAD \ SAS: △BAD ≡ △CDA
|AD| = |DA|

So |AC| = |BD|.
b) Assume b) and prove a). We first note that ABCD is a parallelogram by the
Theorem on parallelograms (C), since the diagonals AC and BD intersect at their
midpoint. By the theorem on parallelograms, |AB| = |CD|.
|AB| = |DC|
)
|BD| = |CA| SSS: △ABD ≡ △DCA
|AD| = |DA|

\ = CDA
So BAD \ and, since the sum of the two angles is 180◦ by the Theorem on
\ = CDA
parallel lines, it follows that BAD \ = 90◦ . Then again, by the Theorem on
\ \ ◦
parallel lines, BAD + ABC = 180 and CDA\ + DCB
\ = 180◦ , so ABC \ = DCB\=
90◦ .


A quadrilateral all of whose sides are equal is a rhombus. Any rhombus is a parallelo-
gram by the theorem on parallelograms d).

Theorem 7.3 (Rhombus). Let ABCD be a quadrilateral. The following statements are
equivalent:
a) ABCD is a rhombus.
b) The diagonals AC and BD intersect at their midpoint and AC ⊥ BD.

Proof.
a) We assume a) and prove b). Triangles △BAC and △DAC are isosceles with
|AB| = |BC| = |CD| = |DA| so

(7.1) \ = BCA
BAC \ = DAC \ = 1 BAD.
\ = DCA \
2
Similarly, △ABD and △CBD are isosceles with |AB| = |BC| = |CD| = |DA| so

(7.2) \ = ADB
ABD \ = CBD \ = 1 ADC.
\ = CDB \
2
On the other hand, AB k CD so
\ + ADC
BAD \ = 180◦ .

This, together with equations (7.1) and (7.2), implies


\ + ABD
BAC \ = 90◦ .

b) We assume b) and prove a). Let E be the intersection point of AC and BD.

|AE| = |CE| 
\ = CEB
AEB \ SAS: △AEB ≡ △CEB
|EB| = |EB|

So |AB| = |BC|. By the Theorem on parallelograms, all sides are equal.



17

8. The Pythagorean theorem


In this section we will employ the notion of area of a bounded plane figure. The basic
principles defining the concept of area are the following:
a) The area of a rectangle ABCD is equal to the product of its length and height:
|AB| · |AD|.
b) Two congruent figures have the same area.
Lemma 8.1. The area of a triangle ABC with  = 90◦ is 1
2
|AB| · |AC|.
Proof. We complete the triangle ABC to a rectangle ABDC. By the Theorem on rectan-
gles above, △ABC ≡ △DCB, and as such, each of the triangles has an area equal to half
the area of the rectangle. 
Theorem 8.2 (The Pythagorean theorem). Let ABC be a triangle with  = 90◦ . Then
|AB|2 + |AC|2 = |BC|2 .
Proof. On the ray AB, extend the segment [AB] by a segment [BM ] such that |BM | =
|AC|.

b
N b
D b
P

b
C

b
E

b
A b
B b
M

On the ray AC, extend the segment [AC] by a segment [CN ] such that |CN | = |AB|.
Construct the square M AN P and let D ∈ [N P ] and E ∈ [P M ] be such that
|M B| = |AC| = |N D| = |P E| and |M E| = |AB| = |N C| = |P D|.
These relations, together with M̂ = Â = N̂ = P̂ = 90◦ , imply
△M EB ≡ △ABC ≡ △N CD ≡ △P DE.
From here:
\
M \=N
EB = ABC \ \
CD = P \
DE, M BE \=N
= ACB \ \
DC = P ED,
|BE| = |CB| = |DC| = |ED|.
\ = 180◦ − ABC
From here, CBE \−M \ \ − ACB
BE = 180◦ − ABC \ = 90◦ , and similarly
\ = BCD
EBC \ = CDE
\ = DEB
\ = 90◦ .
Thus BCDE is a square, since all its angles are right angles and all its sides are equal.
We can now compare areas:
Area AN P M = Area BCDE + 4 Area ABC,
1
so (|AB| + |AC|)2 = |AM |2 = |BC|2 + 4 · |AB| · |AC|,
2
so |AB|2 + |AC|2 = |BC|2 .

18

Corollary 8.3 (The congruence case). Two right angle triangles △ABC and △A′ B ′ C ′
having two pairs of sides of equal lengths |AB| = |A′ B ′ | and |AC| = |A′ C ′ | are congruent
triangles.
Proof. Applying Pythagoras’ theorem to both triangles will result in |BC| = |B ′ C ′ | as
well so we can use SAS or SSS. 

9. Special lines in a triangle


In this section we will use congruence of triangles to study five types of important
lines in a triangle: the angle bisectors, the perpendicular bisectors, the altitudes and the
medians, as well as the midlines. We will prove that the three angle bisectors of a triangle
intersect at a unique point. Similarly for the three perpendicular bisectors; for the three
altitudes and for the three medians. We will also study the defining properties of the
points forming these lines.
\ is the line AD such that D is
9.1. Angle bisector. The angle bisector of an angle BAC
\
a point in the interior of the angle and BAC
\ = DAC.
BAD \

b
C

b
D

Ab b
B

9.2. Constructing angle bisectors. Draw an arc of circle centered at A, and let the
intersection points with the rays AB and AC be E and F , respectively. Two arcs of circles
centered at E and F respectively, and of the same radius, will intersect at a point D.

F
b

b
D

Ab b b
E

\ Indeed,
Then AD is the angle bisector of BAC.
|AE| = |AF |
)
|ED| = |F D| SSS: △AED ≡ △AF D
|AD| = |AD|
\ = DAF
So EAD \.
There is an alternative way of characterizing the bisector, involving the distance from
a point to a line.
The distance from a point D to a line AB not containing the point is the length |DM |,
where DM ⊥ AB and M ∈ AB. Note that this is the same as the shortest path from D
19

to a point on AB, due to the Pythgoraean theorem. A geometric locus is a set of points
in the plane all of which satisfy a given property.

\ and a
Theorem 9.1 (The angle bisector as a geometric locus). Consider an angle BAC
point D in its interior. The following two statements are equivalent:
\
a) AD is the angle bisector of BAC.
b) The point D is equally distanced from AB and AC.

In other words, the angle bisector is the geometric locus of all the points in the interior
of an angle equally distanced from the sides of the angle.

Bb

M b

b
D

A
b b
N Cb

Proof. Consider the points M ∈ AB and N ∈ AC such that DM ⊥ AB and DN ⊥ AC.


a) Assume a) and prove b). By right angles,

\ = 90◦ − DAM
ADM \ = 90◦ − DAN
\ = ADN
\

so

\
M AD = N \AD 
|AD| = |AD| ASA: △ADM ≡ △ADN
\ = ADN
ADM \ 

So the distances |M D| and |N D| from D to AB and AC, respectively, are equal.


b) Assume b) and prove a). By the Pythagorean Theorem,
p p
|AM | = |AD|2 − |M D|2 = |AD|2 − |N D|2 = |AN |.

|M D| = |N D|
)
|DA| = |DA| SSS: △M DA ≡ △N DA
|M A| = |N A|

\
So M \ . Thus AD is the angle bisector of M
AD = DAN \ \
AN = BAC.


This universal property of a bisector is helpful in proving an important property of a


triangle:

Theorem 9.2 (The incentre of a triangle). All of the angle bisectors of the interior angles
in a triangle ABC intersect at a point I, the incentre of the triangle.
20

b
A

N
b
b
E
M b
I
b

C
B b b b b

P D

\ and ABC
Proof. We first notice that the angle bisectors AD and BE of BAC \ respectively,
must intersect at a point. Indeed, if they were parallel, then by the theorem on parallel
\ + EBA
lines, DAB \ = 180◦ . But DAB \ = 1 BAC \ and EBA\ = 1 ABC, \ and so we would
2 2
\ + ABC
have BAC \ = 360 , which is absurd: they are interior angles in △ABC and so

their sum should be 180◦ .


We will denote the point of intersection of AD and BE by I. It remains to show that
\ Let |IM |, |IN |, and |IP | be the distances from I to AB,
CI is the angle bisector of ACB.
AC and BC respectively, with M ∈ AB, N ∈ AC, P ∈ BC.
\ by the universal property of angle bisectors we
Since AD is the angle bisector of BAC,
have |IM | = |IN |.
\ by the universal property of angle bisectors we
Since BE is the angle bisector of ABC,
have |IM | = |IP |
Thus |IN | = |IP | and so, by the universal property of angle bisectors, CI is the angle
\
bisector of ACB. 

In the proof above, we’ve seen that |IM | = |IN | = |IP |, and so, there exists a circle
with centre at I and radius IM , the incircle of △ABC. Because IM ⊥ AB, IN ⊥ AC
and IP ⊥ BC, the incircle intersects the sides of △ABC at the points M, N, P only. The
incircle is tangent to the sides of △ABC, i.e. touches each side once. Indeed, if the incircle
intersected AB at two points M and M ′ , then △IM M ′ would be isosceles with the angles
at M and M ′ both equal to 90◦ , which is impossible.

9.3. The perpendicular bisector. The perpendicular bisector of a segment [BC] is the
line perpendicular on [BC] and passing through its midpoint. To construct the perpendic-
ular bisector, draw two circles centered at B and C respectively, and of the same radius,
which intersect at two points S and T . Then the line ST is the perpendicular bisector of
[BC]. Indeed, By construction, |BS| = |CS| = |BT | = |CT | and so BSCT is a rhombus.
By the theorem on rhombi, we know that ST ⊥ BC and that ST and BC intersect at
their midpoints.
There is an alternative way of characterizing the perpendicular bisector.

Theorem 9.3 (The perpendicular bisector as a geometric locus). Consider a segment


[BC] and a point S not on it. The following two statements are equivalent:
a) S lies on the perpendicular bisector of [BC].
b) |SB| = |SC|.

In other words, the perpendicular bisector of a segment is the geometric locus of all
the points equidistant from the vertices of the segment.

Proof. Consider the point M ∈ BC such that SM ⊥ BC.


21

a) Assume a) and prove b). By assumption, M is the midpoint of [BC] and SM ⊥ BC,
thus 
|BM | = |CM | 
\
BM \
S = CM S SAS: △BM S ≡ △CM S
|M S| = |M S|

So |SB| = |SC|.
b) Assume b) and prove \ \ ◦
p a). By construction,
p SM B = SM C = 90 . By Pythagoraean
2 2 2 2
Theorem, |BM | = |SB| − |M S| = |SC| − |M S| = |CM |. Thus SM is the
perpendicular bisector of [BC].

This universal property of a perpendicular bisector is helpful in proving an important
property of a triangle:
Theorem 9.4 (The circumcentre of a triangle). All the perpendicular bisectors of the
sides in a triangle ABC intersect at a point O, the circumcentre of the triangle, because
there exists a circle, the circumcircle of the triangle, of centre O and containing the vertices
of the triangle ABC.

b
A

b b

O
b

C
B b b b

Proof. We first notice that the perpendicular bisectors of [BC] and [AB] must intersect
at a point, which we will call O. Indeed, if they were parallel, then by drawing a common
parallel to both through B and applying the theorem on parallel lines, we would get
\ = 180◦ , which is absurd.
ABC
It remains to show that O lies on the perpendicular bisector of [AC]. Since O lies on
the perpendicular bisector of [BC], by the universal property of perpendicular bisectors
we have |OB| = |OC|.
Since O lies on the perpendicular bisector of [BA], by the universal property of perpen-
dicular bisectors we have |OB| = |OA|.
Thus |OA| = |OC| and so, by the universal property of perpendicular bisectors, O lies
on the perpendicular bisector of [AC].
Since |OA| = |OB| = |OC|, the point O is the centre of a circle which contains all
vertices of the triangle ABC. 
Example 9.5. The circumcentre of a right angled triangle is always the midpoint of the
hypothenuse.
Indeed, we can complete △ABC with ∡A = 90◦ to a rectangle ABA′ C. From the
theorem of rectangles, we know that the diagonals AA′ and BC are equal and intersect
at their midpoint O. Thus O is equally distanced from A, B, C, A′ .
9.4. Altitudes. The altitude from the vertex A of a triangle ABC is the line through A
perpendicular on BC.
Example 9.6. The lines AD, EF and HK are altitudes in the three distinct triangles
below:
22

b A b E b H

b B b D b C b F b G b K b I b J

Theorem 9.7 (Orthocentre). All of the altitudes of a triangle intersect at a point H, the
orthocenter of the triangle.

b
C′ b
A B′ b

b
N
P b

b b b

B M C

A′

Proof. Through each of the vertices of the triangle ABC we draw a parallel to the opposite
side. By intersecting these lines we get another triangle A′ B ′ C ′ , such that A ∈ B ′ C ′ ,
B ∈ A′ C ′ , C ∈ A′ B ′ .
The proof is based on the observation that the altitudes in the triangle ABC are
perpendicular bisectors in triangle A′ B ′ C ′ . Since we have shown that the perpendicular
bisectors of a triangle are concurrent, it will follow that the altitudes in the triangle ABC
are concurrent at a point H.
Indeed, ABCB ′ and ACBC ′ are parallelograms, so by the theorem on parallelograms,
|AB ′ | = |BC| and |BC| = |AC ′ |, which imply |AB ′ | = |AC ′ |. Moreover, since BC k B ′ C ′ ,
it follows that the altitude AM of the triangle ABC is also perpendicular to [B ′ C ′ ],
and passing through its midpoint A. Thus AM is the perpendicular bisector of [B ′ C ′ ].
Similarly, the altitude BN is the perpendicular bisector of [A′ C ′ ] and the altitude CP is
the perpendicular bisector of [A′ B ′ ]. 

As in the case of angle and perpendicular bisectors, it would be nice if we could express
an altitude as a geometric locus, i.e. if we could decide whether a point H is on the
altitude from A to BC based on measurements involving only H, A, B and C. Given
a protractor, we could simply check whether the angle between the lines AH and BC is
90◦ . Given only a ruler, we could make use of Pythagora’s theorem to check whether the
same angle is 90◦ . Since our measurement should involve only segments made by H, A,
B and C, we will come up with a slightly complicated condition obtained by applying
Pythagoras’ theorem a number of times and cancelling some irrelevant terms.

Lemma 9.8. Consider △ABC. Take a point D on the line BC.

AD ⊥ BC just when |AB|2 − |AC|2 = |DB|2 − |DC|2

Proof.
23

a) Assume AD ⊥ BC. Prove the relation above. Indeed, D̂ = 90◦ . By Pythagoras’


theorem in △ADB and △ADC we have:
|AD|2 + |DB|2 = |AB|2 ,
|AD|2 + |DC|2 = |AC|2 .
After subtracting the two equations term by term and canceling out |AD|:
|DB|2 − |DC|2 = |AB|2 − |AC|2 .

b) Assume |DB|2 − |DC|2 = |AB|2 − |AC|2 . We’ll prove AD ⊥ BC. Indeed, assume
D′ is the point on BC such that AD′ ⊥ BC. Then by part I,
|D′ B|2 − |D′ C|2 = |AB|2 − |AC|2 , while
|DB|2 − |DC|2 = |AB|2 − |AC|2
by assumption. Hence |D′ B|2 − |D′ C|2 = |DB|2 − |DC|2 , or equivalently,
(9.1) (|D′ B| − |D′ C|)(|D′ B| + |D′ C|) = (|DB| − |DC|)(|DB| + |DC|).
But |D′ B| + |D′ C| = |DB| + |DC| = |BC| if both D and D′ are inside the segment
[BC], (which happens when △ABC is acute-angled), or |D′ B| − |D′ C| = |DB| −
|DC| = ±|BC| if D and D′ are outside the segment [BC], both on the same side
of the vertices B and C (which is the case when B̂ > 90◦ or Ĉ > 90◦ ).
After cancelling out the equal factors in equation (9.1), we have both
|D′ B| + |D′ C| = |DB| + |DC| and
|D′ B| − |D′ C| = |DB| − |DC|.
which added/subtracted yield |D′ B| = |DB| and |D′ C| = |DC|, hence D = D′ .
We note that it would be impossible for one of D, D′ to be inside the segment [BC]
and the other outside. Indeed, if for example D′ is outside and D inside, then
|D′ B| − |D′ C| = |DB| + |DC| = |BC|. After canceling these factors in equation
(9.1), we’d get |D′ B| + |D′ C| = |DB| − |DC| which is impossible as the positions
of D′ and D imply |D′ B| + |D′ C| ≥ |D′ B| > |BC| > |DB| > |DB| − |DC|.

In the right-angled triangle △ADB with D̂ = 90◦ we define
|BD| |AD|
cos B := and sin B := .
|AB| |AB|

Note: cos B and sin B thus defined seems to depend on the choice of the triangle
△ABD. We will prove later that they depend in fact only on the measure of the angle B̂.
Corollary 9.9 (The cosine formula). Consider △ABC with the side lengths denoted by
|AB| = c, |AC| = b and |BC| = a. Let D be the point on BC such that AD ⊥ BC. Then
a2 + c2 − b2
cos B =
2ac
Proof. Consider the case when △ABC is acute angled. From Lemma 9.8 we have |DB|2 −
|DC|2 = |AB|2 − |AC|2 = c2 − b2 . But |DC| = |BC| − |DB| = a − |DB|. Substituting
this in the equation above we get: |DB|2 − (a − |DB|)2 = c2 − b2 .. Solving for |DB| we
2 2 2
get |DB| = a +c2a−b . 
Corollary 9.10 (Heron’s formula for the area of a triangle). Consider △ABC with the
side lengths denoted by |AB| = c, |AC| = b and |BC| = a. Then
p
Area ABC = p(p − a)(p − b)(p − c)
1
where p = 2
(a + b + c) is the semiperimeter of △ABC.
24

Proof. Continuing with the calculations from the previous proof, we apply Pythagoras’
2 2 2
theorem in △ADB with |AB| = c and |DB| = a +b2a−c to get
p
|AD| = |AB|2 − |DB|2 ,
r
(a2 + c2 − b2 )2
= c2 − ,
4a2
r
4a2 c2 − (a2 + c2 − b2 )2
= ,
4a2
p
(2ac − a2 − c2 + b2 )(2ac + a2 + c2 − b2 )
= ,
2a
p
(b2 − (a − c)2 )((a + c)2 − b2 )
= ,
2a
p
(b + a − c)(b − a + c)(a + c − b)(a + c + b)
= ,
2a
p
4 p(p − a)(p − b)(p − c)
=
2a
As |AD| is the height in △ABC with basis |BC| = a, we get the formula for the area as
above. 

Theorem 9.11 (Altitude as a geometric locus). Let △ABC be a triangle and H a point
in the plane. Then H is on the altitude from A to BC just when
AH ⊥ BC which occurs just when |AB|2 − |AC|2 = |HB|2 − |HC|2

Proof. Let D be the intersection of the lines AH and BC.


a) Assume AH ⊥ BC. We will prove the formula above. Indeed, applying Lemma
9.8 to AD ⊥ BC and then HD ⊥ BC we get
|AB|2 − |AC|2 = |DB|2 − |DC|2 = |HB|2 − |HC|2

b) Assume |AB|2 − |AC|2 = |HB|2 − |HC|2 . We will prove AH ⊥ BC. Let D, D′ be


points on BC such that AD ⊥ BC and then HD′ ⊥ BC. Thus by Lemma 9.8,
|AB|2 − |AC|2 = |DB|2 − |DC|2 and |HB|2 − |HC|2 = |D′ B|2 − |D′ C|2 .
We assumed |AB|2 − |AC|2 = |HB|2 − |HC|2 , and so |DB|2 − |DC|2 = |D′ B|2 −
|D′ C|2 which as before implies D = D′ . Thus the lines AD ⊥ BC and HD′ ⊥
BC have a common point D = D′ . But only one perpendicular to BC can be
constructed from the point D and hence A, D and H must be collinear, AH ⊥ BC.


An alternate proof for the Orthocenter Theorem: Note that two altitudes BE and
CF must intersect at a point. Indeed, assume BE k CF . Then BE ⊥ AC would imply
CF ⊥ AC whereas from definition CF ⊥ AB. But then the triangle formed by the lines
AB, AC and CF would have two right angles, which is impossible.
We denote by H the intersection of the two altitudes BE and CF . We will prove
that H is also on a point on the altitude from A. Indeed, we can apply the Altitude as
geometric locus Theorem:
BH ⊥ AC just when |BA|2 − |BC|2 = |HA|2 − |HC|2
CH ⊥ AB just when |CB|2 − |CA|2 = |HB|2 − |HA|2 .
Subtract: |BA|2 − |CA|2 = |HB|2 − |HC|2 ,
which implies AH ⊥ BC.
25

9.5. Median. The median from the vertex A of a triangle ABC is the line joining A with
the midpoint of [BC]. The midpoint C ′ of the segment AB is joined to the midpoint B ′
of AC by the midline B ′ C ′ of the triangle ABC.

Proposition 9.12 (Midlines). Let ABC be a triangle and consider the midpoint M of
the segment AB and the midpoint N of AC.
a) M N kBC and |M N | = |BC|/2.
b) Let G be the point of intersection of BN and CM . Then |BG| = 2|GN | = 32 |BN |
and |CG| = 2|GM | = 23 |CM |.

Proof. a): Extend M N by M P of equal length. By the Theorem on parallelograms (D),


AM CP is a parallelogram. This implies that CP kAB and |CP | = |AM | = |M B|. Thus
by the Theorem on parallelograms (B), BM P C is a parallelogram too, which implies
M P kBC and 2|M N | = |M P | = |BC|. This proves a).

b
A

M N b
P
b b

G
b

b
R b
S

Bb b
C

b) Draw the midpoints R and S of the segments BG and CG, respectively. Then N S is
a midline in △CGA and so by a),

1
N SkAG and |N S| = |AG|.
2

Similarly, M R is a midline in △BGA and so by a),

1
M RkAG and |M R| = |AG|.
2

From the previous two observations, N SkM R and |N S| = |M R|. By the Theorem on
parallelograms (B), M N SR is a parallelogram, and so the diagonals intersect each other
at midpoints. Thus |M G| = |GS| = |SC| = 1/2|CG| (because S was constructed as the
midpoint of the segment CG), and similarly |N G| = |GR| = |RG| = 1/2|BG|. 

Corollary 9.13. Take a triangle △ABC and split each side in half, drawing all 3 midlines.
Then these midlines split the triangle into 4 congruent triangles.
26

b b b

b b

Proof. Each side of the triangle bound by the midlines is parallel to and half the size of
the obvious side of △ABC, so all four small triangles are congguent by SSS. 

Lemma 9.14. If △ABC and △A′ B ′ C ′ have the same angles at B and B ′ , and at C
and C ′ , and if |BC| = |B ′ C ′ |, then every side of △A′ B ′ C ′ is double the length of the
corresponding side of △ABC.

Proof. Chop up △A′ B ′ C ′ by midlines as above, to find 4 triangles, all congruent to △ABC
by ASA. 

Theorem 9.15 (The centroid of a triangle). All of the medians of a triangle intersect at
a point G, the centroid of the triangle.

Proof. Let Q be the midpoint of [BC]. With the notations from the Proposition on
Midlines, AQ, BN and CM are the median in the triangle ABC, and G is the point of
intersection of BN and CM . Assume that BN and AQ intersect at another point G′ . We
apply the Proposition on Midlines, b) in two cases:
• to G as the point of intersection of BN and CM so |BG| = 23 |BN |.
• to G′ as the point of intersection of BN and AQ so |BG′ | = 23 |BN |.
From here it follows that G = G′ , since |BG| = |BG′ | and G, G′ are both interior
points of [BN ]. Thus AQ, BN and CM all intersect at G. 

Theorem 9.16 (Median as a geometric locus). A point G in the interior of a triangle


△ABC is on one of its medians AM if it forms with the sides AB and AC triangles of
equal areas:
G ∈ AM is a median just when Area ABG = Area ACG.

Proof.
a) Assume M is the midpoint of segment BC and that G is a point on the median
AM . Then
Area ABM = Area ACM
as the triangles have equal bases and the same height. Similarly,
Area GBM = Area GCM.
Subtracting the two equations above yields
Area ABG = Area ACG.

b) Assume Area ABG = Area ACG. As the two triangles have a common side AG, it
follows that their heights |BE| and |CF | are equal.
27

b
A

b
G

90◦b E

B b b
M b
C

b
F

90

Then △BEM ≡ △CF M by AAS, as they have:


• |BE| = |CF |
\ = CF
• BEM \ M = 90◦
\
• BM \
E = CM F as opposite angles.
Hence, |BM | = |CM | and so AM is median.
An alternate proof for the theorem of the centroid:

Proof. Two medians BN and CP of △ABC will always intersect at a point G, as they are
both in the interior of △ABC. We will use the characterization of medians as geometric
locus to prove that G is also a point on the median AM . Indeed,

G ∈ BN = median just when Area BAG = Area BCG,


G ∈ CP = median just when Area BCG = Area CAG.

Hence Area BAG = Area CAG, and so G is also a point on the median AM . 

Theorem 9.17 (Euler’s line). The orthocentre H, circumcentre O, and centroid G of any
triangle △ABC are collinear and satisfy |HG| = 2|HO|.
28

A
b

b H
b
b
G O
b

M
B b b b C

b
A′

Proof.
• Let M be the midpoint of the segment BC and let AA′ be the diameter of the
circumcircle of △ABC. Then A′ B ⊥ AB and CH ⊥ AB so A′ B k CH. As well,
and A′ C ⊥ AC and BH ⊥ AC, so A′ C k BH and so BHCA′ is a parallelogram.
• Hence M is the midpoint of segment [HA′ ].
• The point G is on one of the medians exactly in the right place for the centroid of
△AHA′ , cutting the median in ratio 2 : 1.
• Hence G is the centroid of △AHA′ . As such, G is on the median HO and |HG| =
2|HO| by the Theorem of the Centroid.


10. Circles
We will denote by Cr O a circle of center O and radius r.

10.1. Secants and tangents. A secant is a line which intersects the circle at two points.
Lemma 10.1. Let Cr O be a circle of centre O and radius r and let A, B be two points
on the circle. Then the perpendicular from O to AB intersects the segment [AB] at its
midpoint P , and
1
|OP |2 = r2 − |AB|2 .
4
Proof. Let P denote the point of intersection of AB with the perpendicular from O to AB.
Then by applying Pythagora’s theorem in the right angled triangles △OP A and △OP B
we get
|AP |2 = |OA|2 − |OP |2 = |OB|2 − |OP |2 = |BP |2 .
1
As |AP | = 2
|AB|, the equation above can be rearranged like in the conclusion of the
lemma. 

A tangent is a line which intersects the circle at exactly one point. We will think of
the tangent as the limit of a sequence of secants passing through a fixed point M , and
moving gradually further away from the center O of the circle.
29

Let M be a point outside a line d, and let P be a point on d such that M P ⊥ d. We


say that P is the projection of M on the line d.
Theorem 10.2. Let M be a point not situated on a circle C of center O, and let M P be
tangent to C, where P is a point on the circle. Then OP ⊥ M P .

Proof. We consider a secant line AB passing through M . Keeping M as a pivot, we move


the line AB towards the outside of the circle. Let P denote the projection of O on the
line AB, so that OP ⊥ M P . Then by the previous lemma,
1
|OP |2 = r2 −
|AB|2 .
4
The line through M , A, B and P is in a tangent position to the circle precisely when
|AB| = 0, and so |OP | = r. In other words, P is on the circle and OP ⊥ M P . 

Conversely, we have:
Theorem 10.3. Let M be a point not situated on a circle C with center O, and let P is
a point on the circle. Assume OP ⊥ M P . Then M P is tangent to the circle C .

Proof. We want to show that M P is tangent to the circle C , i.e., by definition, that
P is the unique point of intersection of M P with C . Uniqueness is most often proven
by contradiction, so we will assume that there exists another point of intersection P ′ .
Then since P and P ′ are both on the circle, the triangle OP P ′ is isosceles and as such,
Pˆ′ = P̂ = 90◦ (since OP ⊥ M P ). But the angles in △OP P ′ can’t sum up to more than
180◦ – thus our assumption of the existence of P ′ must have been wrong. 

Lemma 10.4. Let M be a point not situated on a circle C , and let M P and M P ′ be
tangents to C , where P and P ′ are points on the circle. Then
|M P | = |M P ′ |.

Proof. This follows by applying the Pythagorean theorem in triangles OM P and OM P ′ .




Lemma 10.5. Consider two circles C1 = Cr1 O1 and C2 = Cr2 O2 with common tangents
M P and M ′ P ′ , where M, M ′ are points on C1 and P, P ′ are points on C2 . Then
p
|M P | = |M ′ P ′ | = |O1 O2 |2 − (r1 − r2 )2 .
Hint: Draw O1 A ⊥ O2 P and O1 A ⊥ O2 P ′ and apply the Pythagorean theorem in
triangles O1 O2 A and O1 O2 A′ .
Theorem 10.6. Let C1 = Cr1 O1 and C2 = Cr2 O2 be two circles intersecting at two points
A and B. Then O1 O2 ⊥ AB and O1 O2 passes through the midpoint of the segment [AB].

Proof. △AO1 O2 ≡ △BO1 O2 (case SSS) just when AO \ 2 O1 = BO\ 2 O1 just when O1 O2
is angle bisector in the isosceles triangle O2 AB with |O2 A| = |O2 B| just when O1 O2 ⊥
AB and O1 O2 passes through the midpoint of the segment [AB] (as O1 O2 must also be
perpendicular bisector in triangle O2 AB). 

Two circles are tangent to each other if they intersect at only one point. Just like with
a circle and a line, we consider tangency of two circles as the limit position of a sequence
of secant circles. Hence the following theorem.
Theorem 10.7. Let Cr1 O1 and Cr2 O2 be two circles tangent to each other at the point
P . Then O1 , O2 and P are collinear.
30

Proof. Consider a sequence of points On on the line O1 O2 , approaching O1 , but chosen


so that the circles Cn = Cr1 On intersect the circle C2 = Cr2 O2 at two points An and
Bn . By the previous theorem, the line On O2 passes through the midpoint Pn of the
segment [An Bn ]. On the other hand, limn→∞ On = O1 implies limn→∞ An = P and
limn→∞ Bn = P , and so the same is true for midpoints: limn→∞ Pn = P (exercise in
coordinate calculations, using the fact that all circles Cn have radius r1 ). As Pn ∈ O1 O2
for all n, it follows that P ∈ O1 O2 . 
> \
10.2. Arcs and angles. In a circle Cr O, the arc AB is the angle AOB.
>
Lemma 10.8 (Angle on a circle). Let A, B, C be three points on a circle. Let BC denote
the arc which does not contain A. Then
\ >
\ = BOC = BC .
BAC
2 2
Proof. Let D be the point on the circle such that A, O and D are collinear. Then
\ = 2OAB,
• BOD \ as exterior angle of the isosceles triangle OAB, and
\ \
• COD = 2OAC, as exterior angle of the isosceles triangle OAC.
\ we add the equations above term by term, and
If O is in the interior of the angle BAC,
\ we subtract the equations above term by term. In both
O is outside of the angle BAC,
\ = 2BAC.
cases, we obtain BOD \ 
Corollary 10.9 (Internal and external angles). Let C be a circle of center O. Let A, B,
C, D be points on C and P the intersection point of AB and CD, which we suppose lies
in the interior of C .
b
C

B b

P
b

Q b

D b
A

Let Q be the intersection point of the lines AD and BC. Then


\ 1 > > \ = 1 (> >
AP C = (AC + BD) and AQC AC − BD).
2 2
\
Proof. AP C is exterior angle for △P BC so
\
AP \ + DCB,
C = ABC \
\
=P \
BC + P CB,
1 > >
= (AC + BD)
2
\ is exterior angle for △QBA so AQB
(angles on the circle). ABC \ = ABC
\ − BAD
\ =
1 > >
2
(AC − BD). 
Lemma 10.10. Let A, B, C be three points on a circle. Also, let BD be tangent to the
circle, with D on the same side of AB as C. Then
\ = DBC.
BAC \

The proof is left as an exercise.


A quadrilateral ABCD is cyclic if all its vertices are on a circle.
31

Lemma 10.11 (Isosceles trapezoid in a circle). Let ABCD be a cyclic quadrilateral. The
following are equivalent:
a) |AD| = |BC|
> >
b) AD = BC
c) AB k CD

\ = BOC
Proof. a) |AD| = |BC| just when △OAD ≡ △OBC (case SSS) just when AOD \
> > > >
\=
just when b) AD = BC just when ABD AD BC \ (angles on the circle) just
= 2 = BDC
2
when c) AB k CD. 

Lemma 10.12 (Rectangle in a circle). Let ABCD be a quadrilateral whose vertices are
on a circle Cr O. The following are equivalent:
a) ABCD is a rectangle.
b) AC and BD are diameters of the circle (i.e., A, O, D are collinear, and B, O, C are
collinear).
Proof: Exercise.
Theorem 10.13. Let ABCD be a quadrilateral. The following are equivalent:
a) The quadrilateral ABCD is cyclic.
\ = ACD.
b) ABD \ (The angle formed by a diagonal with a side is equal with that
formed by the other diagonal with the opposite side).
\ + ADC
c) ABC \ = 180◦ (The sum of two opposite angles is 180◦ ).

b
B

b
C

Ab

Proof.
a) We assume a) and prove b) and c). On the circle C containing the vertices
A, B, C, D, we have
>
\ = AD ,
\ = ACD
ABD
2
> >
\ + ADC
\= ADC + ABC 360◦
ABC = = 180◦ .
2 2
>
Here ADC denotes the arc bounded by A and C and containing the point D, while
>
ABC denotes the arc bounded by A and C and containing the point B.
b) Assume b). Prove a). Let C be the circle containing the points A, B, C. This is
the circle whose centre is the circumcenter O of the triangle ABC (the intersection
of the perpendicular bisectors), and whose radius is |OA|. We would like to prove
that D is also a point on the circle C . Proof by contradiction: assuming D is not
32

on the circle C , let C intersect the line CD at the point E, the line BD at the
point F .

B
b
b
B

Ab A b
C b
C
b

b D
b

b b
b E
F
E F

b
D

We have
> >
\ = AF while ACD
ABD \ = AE ,
2 2
as angles on the circle. By assumption, we know ABD \ = ACD, \ and so by the
> >
equations above, AF = AE.
> > >
However, if D is outside the circle C , then F is inside the arc AE and so AF < AE.
Contradiction.
> > >
However, if D is inside the circle C , then E is inside the arc AF and so AE < AF .
Contradiction.
c) Assume c). Prove a). Similar with the previous part. Let C be the circle containing
the points A, B, C. We would like to prove that D is also a point on the circle C .
Proof by contradiction: assuming D is not on the circle C , let C intersect the line
CD at the point E, the line AD at the point L. We have
>
\ = ALC ,
ABC
2
as angle on the circle, and
> >
\ = ABC ± EF L ,
ADC
2
as angle which is either internal, or external to the circle. By assumption, we know
\ + ADC
ABC \ = 180◦ , and so by the equations above,
> > >
ALC + ABC ± EF L = 360◦ .
However,
> >
ALC + ABC = 360◦
>
as they span the entire circle, so EF L = 0, meaning that L = E. But this would
mean that the lines CD and AD intersect the circle at the same point E = L. As
the intersection of AD and CD is D, we must have D = E = L.


Example 10.14. Let H be the orthocentre of △ABC, and let D′ denote the symmetric
of H through BC. Then D′ is a point on the circumcentre of △ABC.
33

A
b

b
O
E
b
H
b

b b
D
b
B C
b
D′

\
Proof. BC is the perpendicular bisector of HD′ =⇒ △CDH ≡ △CDD′ . Then AD ′C =

\ = 90◦ − HCD
DHC \ = ABC \ so the quadrilateral ABD′ C is cyclic.
(We used HD ⊥ BC and CH ⊥ AB. ) 

11. Similar triangles


Triangles △ABC and △A B C ′ are similar if their respective angles are equal: Â = Â′ ,
′ ′

B̂ = B̂ ′ , Ĉ = Ĉ ′ . we write

△ABC ∼ △A′ B ′ C ′

Theorem 11.1. If △ABC ∼ △A′ B ′ C ′ then

|AB| |AC| |BC|


= ′ ′ = .
|A′ B ′ | |A C | |B ′ C ′ |

As an application, sin α and cos α as defined in trigonometry are independent of the


choice of the triangle in which they are computed.
The most common situations when two similar triangles arise are the following:

Theorem 11.2 (Parallel lines III). BC k B ′ C ′ just when △ABC ∼ △AB ′ C ′ .

b
A

B′ b b C′

b b
B
C

Theorem 11.3 (Anti-parallel lines). If B, C, C ′ , B ′ are on the same circle and BC ′ in-
tersects CB ′ at A then △ABC ∼ △AB ′ C ′ ; BC and B ′ C ′ are anti-parallel.
34

b
A b
A

B′
b B b B
b
b C
Bb
B′
b

b
A

C
b
B′ b

b
C′

C C′
b b

C′

In particular, we can solve the following question: Given a circle Cr O and a point P ,
how can we describe how far the point is from the circle?
The power of a point P with respect to a circle is the product of the lengths of the
segments made by the point P on any chord passing through P .
Theorem 11.4. The power of a point P with respect to a circle Cr O does not depend on
the chord on which it is calculated:
|P A| · |P B| = |P A′ | · |P B ′ | = ±(|P O|2 − r2 ),
+ if P is outside the circle and − if P is inside the circle.

b
B
b
B
Ab ′
P Ab
b

b b
O b b b
O b
A P
A′ B′
b
B′

Proof. Due to the equal angles on the circle, △P AA′ ∼ △P B ′ B so that


|P A| |P A′ |
=
|P B ′ | |P B|
and thus |P A||P B| = |P A′ ||P B ′ | = ±(|OP | − r)(|OP | + r).. 
35

12. The nine-point circle

A E′
b b

C′ B′
b b

M′ E
b b

P N
b b

O
b

G
b

O
b

F′ b
F
b
H
b

P′
N′ b b

D
b b b b
C
B
M

b b


D A′
36

Can you guess the significance of each point? If you were to connect all labeled points,
could you find
• at least 19 segments whose midpoints are labeled in?
• at least 9 perpendicular bisectors?
• at least 15 parallelograms which are not rectangles?
• at least 9 isosceles trapezoids?
• at least 6 diameters and 9 rectangles?
• at least 9 pairs of similar triangles sharing H as common vertex?
• at least 12 pairs of similar triangles sharing A as common vertex?
• at least 8 triangles having G as centroid?

13. Menelaus and Ceva theorems


Theorem 13.1 (Menelaus of Alexandria c. 70 – 140 CE) ). Let M, P be points inside
the segments [AB], and [CA], and let N be a point on the line BC, outside of the segment
[BC]. M, N, P are collinear if and only if
|AM | |BN | |CP |
=1
|M B| |N C| |P A|

b
A

M b

b
P

B b b b
N
C

Proof. If the points are collinear, then to prove relation: Let CD k AB.

b
A

M b

b
P
b
D
B b b b
N
C

Then multiply |BN |


|N C|
= |M B|
|CD|
with |CP |
|P A|
|CD|
= |AM |
.
If we know the relation, assume the points are not collinear, let M ′ be the intersection
of lines N P and AB. It has to lie inside the segment [AB] just like M . Then by the
previous argument,
|AM ′ | |BN | |CP |
=1
|M ′ B| |N C| |P A|
while by assumption
|AM | |BN | |CP |
=1
|M B| |N C| |P A|

|AM | |AM | |AM ′ | |AM ′ | |AM | |AM ′ |
hence |M ′ B| = |M B|
so |AB|
= |AM ′ |+|M ′ B|
= |AM |+|M B|
= |AB|
so |AM | = |AM ′ |
thus M is M ′ . 
37

The following theorem is known as Ceva’s theorem (after Giovanni Ceva, December 7,
1647 – June 15, 1734), but was actually proven by the Spanish Arab mathematician and
aristocrat Yusuf al-Mu’taman ibn Hud,, who was king of Zaragossa from 1081 to 1085.
His palace is depicted on the frontispiece of our lecture notes.
Theorem 13.2 (“Ceva’s” theorem). Let M, N, P be points inside the segments [AB],
[BC] and [CA]. The lines AN, BP and CM are concurrent if and only if
|AM | |BN | |CP |
= 1.
|M B| |N C| |P A|
Proof.
a) We assume the lines AN, BP and CM are concurrent. We apply Menelaus’ Theo-
rem twice: once for triangle ABN crossed by line CM and then for triangle ACN
crossed by line BP . Multiplying the two ensuing relations yields the formula above.
b) We assume the formula above. We let Q be the intersection point of lines BP and
CM . Let N ′ denote the intersection of line AQ with BC. From Part I, we get:
|AM | |BN ′ | |CP |
= 1.
|M B| |N ′ C| |P A|
From assumption, we have
|AM | |BN | |CP |
= 1.
|M B| |N C| |P A|
Together, these yield
|BN ′ | |BN |
= .
|N ′ C| |N C|
so P = P ′ since both P and P ′ are inside the segment [BC].


References
[1] Michèle Audin, Geometry, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, 2003.
[2] H.S.M. Coxeter, Introduction to Geometry, 2ed., Wiley, 1969.
[3] Euclid, The Elements, on-line editions:
http://farside.ph.utexas.edu/euclid/Elements.pdf
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/21076/21076-pdf.pdf
[4] Geometry Package GeoGebra
http://www.geogebra.org/cms/
[5] Robin Hartshorne, Geometry: Euclid and Beyond, Springer-Verlag, Heidelberg, 2000.
[6] Silvio Levy, preface to Flavours of Geometry, MSRI, Berkeley, 1997.
Index
acute angle, 4 hypothesis, 2
acute-angled triangle, 4
al-Mu’taman ibn Hud, Yusuf, 36 in between, 5
altitude, 20 incentre, 18
theorem, 23 theorem, 18
angle, 3 incircle, 19
acute, 4 interior, 5
alternate, 8 interior angle, 4
corresponding, 8 isosceles, 4
interior consecutive, 8 isosceles triangle
obtuse, 4 theorem, 12
angle bisector, 17
leg, 3
theorem, 18
lemma, 2
angle-side-angle, 11
line
anti-parallel, 32
parallel, 4
arc, 29
locus, 18
ASA, 11
axiom, 2 mathematical theory, 2
measure, 5
centre, 4
median, 24
centroid, 25
theorem, 25
theorem, 25
Menelaus theorem, 35
Ceva theorem, 36
midline, 24
circle, 4
nine-point, 34 nine-point circle, 34
circumcentre, 20
circumcircle, 20 obtuse angle, 4
circumference, 4 obtuse-angled triangle, 4
cirumcentre orthocenter, 21
theorem, 20 orthocentre
collinear, 3 theorem, 21
complement, 4
conclusion, 2 parallel, 7
concurrent, 3 parallel line, 4
concyclic, 4 parallelogram, 13
congruent, 5, 11 pentagon, 4
convex, 6 perpendicular, 4
corollary, 2 perpendicular bisector, 19
cosine, 22 theorem, 19
cyclic, 29 plane, 3
point, 3
definition, 2 polygon, 4
diameter, 4 regular, 9
distance power, 33
from point to line, 17 projection, 28
proof, 2
equilateral, 4 proposition, 2
Euler, 26 Pythagorean theorem, 16
Euler’s line, 26
exterior angle, 4 quadrilateral, 4

geometric locus, 18 radius, 4


rays, 3
half-line, 3 rectangle, 14
half-planes, 6 theorem, 14
hexagon, 4 rhombus, 15
hypotenuse, 4 rhombus theorem, 15
38
39

right angle, 4
right-angled triangle, 4
rigid movement, 5

SAS, 11
scalene, 4
secant, 27
segment, 3
side, 4
side-angle-side, 11
side-side-side, 12
similar triangles, 32
sine, 22
smaller, 5
SSS, 12
straight line, 3
sum, 3
sum of angles in a triangle, 9
supplement, 3
surface, 3

tangent, 19, 27
circles, 28
tessellation, 9
theorem, 2
altitude, 23
angle bisector, 18
angle-side-angle, 11
centroid, 25
Ceva, 36
circumcentre, 20
incentre, 18
isosceles triangle, 12
median, 25
Menelaus, 35
orthocentre, 21
parallel lines I, 7
parallel lines II, 8
parallel lines III, 32
parallelogram, 13
perpendicular bisector, 19
Pythagorean, 16
rectangle, 14
rhombus, 15
side-angle-side, 11
side-side-side, 12
sum of angles in a triangle, 9
tiling, 9
triangle, 4

vertex, 3

Zaragossa, 36