Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Similar triangles, Trapezoids and Triangles that Share the Same Vertices

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This is an interesting question that requires understanding of dimensional changes. (They are everywhere.)

Question: If D and E are midpoints of AC and AB respectively and the area of ΔBFC = 20, what is the 
a. area of Δ DFB? 
b. area of Δ EFC?
c. area of Δ DFE? 
d. area of Δ ADE? 
e. area of trapezoid DECB? 
f. area of Δ ABC?


DE is half the length of BC (D and E are midpoints so DE : BC AD  : AB = 1 : 2

Δ DFE and ΔCFB are similar and their area ratio is 12 : 22  = 1 : 4  (If you are not sure about this part, read this link on similar triangles.)

so the area of Δ DFE = (1/4) of ΔBFC = 20 = 5 square units. 

The area of Δ DFB = the area of Δ EFC = 5 x 2 = 10 square units because Δ DFE and Δ DFB,   
Δ DFE and ΔEFC share the same vertexs D and E respectively, so the heights are the same. 
Thus the area ratio is still 1 to 2. 

Δ ADE and ΔDEF share the same base and their height ratio is 3 to 1, so the area of
Δ ADE is 5 x 3 = 15 square units.

[DE break the height into two equal length and the height ratio of Δ DFE and ΔCFB is 1 to 2 (due to similar triangles) so the height ratio of Δ ADE and ΔDEF is 3 to 1.]

The area of trapezoid DEBC is 45 square units.

The area of Δ ABC is 60 square units. 

Extra problems to practice (answer below): 
The ratio of   AD and AB is 2 to 3,  DE//BC and the area of Δ BFC is 126, what is the area of

a. Δ DFE ? 

b. Δ DFB ?

c.  Δ EFC ? 

d.  Δ ADE? 

e. How many multiples is it of Δ ABC to ΔBFC?

Answer key: 
a. 56 square units
b. 84 square units
c. 84 square units
d. 280 square units
e. 5 times multiples.