Monday, April 10, 2017

The Largest Rectangle Inscribed in Any Triangle

From Mathcounts Mini : Maximum area of inscribed rectangles and triangles

\(\Delta EHI\sim\Delta EFG\) \(\rightarrow\) \(\dfrac {a} {c}=\dfrac {d-b} {d}\)\(\rightarrow\) \(a=\dfrac {c\left( d-b\right) } {d}=\dfrac {-c\left( b-d\right) } {d}\)

We are going to find out what the largest area of a rectangle is with the side length a and b.
It can be shown that by substituting the side length "a" with the previous equation + completing the square that the largest area is half of the area of the triangle the rectangle is embedded.

\(a\times b=\dfrac {-c\left( b-d\right) \times b} {d}=\dfrac {-c\left( b^{2}-bd\right)} {d}= \dfrac {-c\left( b-\dfrac {1} {2}d\right) ^{2}+\dfrac {1} {4}dc} {d}\).

From there, you know that when \(b= \dfrac {1} {2}d\), it will give you the largest area, which is \(\dfrac {1} {4}dc\).

\(a=\dfrac {-c\left( b-d\right) } {d}= \dfrac {-c\left( \dfrac {1} {2}d-d\right) } {d}=\dfrac {c\left( d-\dfrac {1} {2}d\right) } {d}=\dfrac {1} {2}c\).

Thus, the maximum rectangle area occurs when the midpoints of two of the sides of the triangle were joined to make a side of the rectangle and its area is thus 50% or half of the area of the triangle or 1/4 of the base times height.