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FORUM GEOM

**Friendship Among Triangle Centers
**

Floor van Lamoen

Abstract. If we erect on the sides of a scalene triangle three squares, then at the vertices of the triangle we ﬁnd new triangles, the ﬂanks. We study pairs of triangle centers X and Y such that the triangle of X s in the three ﬂanks is perspective with ABC at Y , and vice versa. These centers X and Y we call friends. Some examples of friendship among triangle centers are given.

1. Flanks Given a triangle ABC with side lengths BC = a, CA = b, and AB = c. By erecting squares ACa Cb B , BAb Ac C , and CBc Ba A externally on the sides, we form new triangles ABa Ca , BCb Ab , and CAc Bc , which we call the ﬂanks of ABC . See Figure 1.

Ab Cb Ac B C A Ca

Bc

Figure 1

Ba

If we rotate the A-ﬂank (triangle ABa Ca ) by π 2 about A, then the image of Ca is B , and that of Ba is on the line CA. Triangle ABC and the image of the A-ﬂank form a larger triangle in which BA is a median. From this, ABC and the A-ﬂank have equal areas. It is also clear that ABC is the A-ﬂank triangle of the A-ﬂank triangle. These observations suggest that there are a close relationship between ABC and its ﬂanks. 2. Circumcenters of ﬂanks If P is a triangle center of ABC , we denote by PA , PB , and PC the same center of the A-, B -, and C - ﬂanks respectively.

Publication Date: January 24, 2001. Communicating Editor: Paul Yiu.

6 . the A-Cevian of K in ABC (the line AK ) is the same line as the A-Cevian of OA in the A-ﬂank. the A-Cevian of KA in the A-ﬂank is the same line as the A-Cevian of O in ABC as well.2 F. we say that P befriends Q if the triangle PA PB PC is perspective with ABC at Q. as we have remarked earlier. Clearly. van Lamoen Let O be the circumcenter of triangle ABC . B -. 2 2 2 3. and that it bisects the squares on the sides of ABC . and . 1 OB B K C OC A OA Figure 2 The triangle OA OB OC of circumcenters of the ﬂanks is perspective with ABC at the symmedian point K of ABC . By the fact that the circumcenter is the intersection of the perpendicular bisectors of the sides. C -ﬂanks. The distances between the corresponding sides of ABC and OA OB OC are c a b therefore . 3]. we see that O A OB OC is homothetic (parallel) to ABC . 1This is X in [2. ABC is the A-. the same statement can be made for the B . Since ABC is the A-ﬂank of triangle ABa Ca . More generally. See Figure 3. This perspector must be the symmedian point K . The triangle KA KB KC of symmedian points of the ﬂanks is perspective with ABC at the circumcenter O. Consider the triangle OA OB OC formed by the circumcenters of the ﬂanks.and C -ﬂanks.M. Friendship of circumcenter and symmedian point Now. The distances from the center of similitude of ABC and OA OB OC to the sides of ABC are proportional to the distances between the corresponding sides of the two triangles. B -. In particular. and therefore to the sides of ABC . C -ﬂank respectively of its A-. Such a friendship relation is always symmetric since. For this relation we call the triangle centers O and K friends. homothetic triangles are perspective at their center of similitude.

4 We show that each of the Vecten points befriends itself. befriends itself. then so are their isogonal conjugates. Consider two friends P and Q. The incenter of a triangle. the line 2 P AQA is mapped to the line joining the isogonal conjugates of P and Q A . 2For Q . The perspector is called the Vecten point of the triangle. We conclude: Proposition. The Vecten points The centers of the three squares ACa Cb B . 3 By the same token the centers of three squares constructed inwardly on the three sides also form a triangle perspective with ABC . BAb Ac C and CBc Ba A form a triangle perspective with ABC . Isogonal conjugacy It is easy to see that the bisector of an angle of ABC also bisects the corresponding angle of its ﬂank. 4This is the point X 486 of [3]. If two triangle centers are friends. we conclude that G and H are friends. 5. therefore. Since the centroid G and the orthocenter H are respectively the isogonal conjugates of the symmedian point K and the circumcenter O.Friendship among triangle centers 3 OB KB B K KC C O A KA OA OC Figure 3 4. this is the same line when isogonal conjugation is considered both in triangle ABC A and in the A-ﬂank. also called the inner Vecten point. By reﬂection in the bisector of angle A. The perspector is called the second Vecten point. 3This is the point X 485 of [3]. .

Let Xt and Yt be the points that divide CBc and BCb such that CXt : CBc = BYt : BCb = t : 1. Friendship of Kiepert perspectors Given any real number t.M. The Second Vecten points O. In a desperate mood he imagined numerous . and CA through −90 degrees to CBc . B and C . He decided to guess its position and try. M is the apex of the isosceles right triangle on BC pointed towards A. And we see that Cb Cb + Bc + Bc = BA + A C = a so M M = a 2 . van Lamoen 6. Then Ba Ca Mt is an isosceles triangle. From similar observations on the B . M . also called the second Vecten point of both ABC and the A-ﬂank. 5 Ca Ba Cb M A Bc Cb B M A Figure 4 C Bc To see this. By symmetry M is also the apex of the isosceles right triangle on Ba Ca pointed towards A. And M is as desired. and let Mt be their midpoint. Then he chose the midpoint M of Cb Bc as the place to hide his treasure. He found three marked trees. We recall that the triangle of apexes of similar isosceles triangles on the sides of ABC is perspective with ABC . C . But when he returned. by the similarity of triangles AXt Yt and AXt Yt 5Bottema introduced this result with the following story. he could not ﬁnd tree A. and the Kiepert perspector K (φ) depends on the base angle φ (mod π ) of the isosceles triangle. let A . Triangles AA B and BCb Cb are congruent in a similar way. M . More speciﬁcally. A. Someone had found a treasure and hidden it in a complicated way to keep it secret. Bottema [1] has noted that the position of the midpoint M of segment Bc Cb depends only on B . with base angle arctan t = ∠BAYt . Then BCMt is an isosceles triangle. See Figure 5. So we have AA = CBc = BCb . 6 We conclude that AM is the A-Cevian of K (−π 4 ). but not on A.and C -ﬂanks. and AYt to Yt on Ca Cb and let Mt be the midpoint of Xt Yt . Also. Bc and Cb respectively on the line BC . See Figure 4. we conclude that the second Vecten point befriends itself. 7. Triangles AA C and CBc Bc are congruent by rotation through ±π 2 about the center of the square CBc Ba A. The triangle of apexes is called a Kiepert triangle.4 F. Extend AXt to Xt on Ba Bc . It follows that M is also the midpoint of BC . and thought of rotating BA through 90 degrees to BCb . Bc and Cb be the orthogonal projections of A. with base angle arctan 1 t = π ∠Yt ACa = 2 − ∠BAYt .

also called the isogenic centers. B C A Figure 6 In particular. . φ is positive or negative according as the isosceles triangles are pointing outwardly or inwardly. the ﬁrst Vecten point K (π 4 ) also befriends itself. so does its isogonal transform. 3]. The 7 8 ) are friends of the the Napoleon points K (π Fermat points K (± π 3 6 ).Friendship among triangle centers Ca Ba A 5 Cb Yt Yt Mt Mt B Figure 5 Xt Bc Xt C we see that A. But. he was able to recover his treasure on the very ﬁrst try! 6By convention. much to his surprise. diggings without result. 13 14 8These points are labelled X and X in [2. See Figure 6. Seen collectively. the locus of Kiepert perspectors. 3]. It is well known that the Kiepert triangles are 17 18 equilateral. the Brocard axis OK . This shows that the Kiepert perspectors K (φ) and K ( π 2 − φ) are friends. the Kiepert hyperbola. befriends itself. Mt and Mt are collinear. 7These are the points X and X in [2.

Bottema. Groningen (1978). Nederlandse Vereniging van Wiskundeleraren / Wolters Noordhoff.nl .lamoen@wxs. Encyclopedia of Triangle Centers.M.6 F. 129 (1998) 1 – 285. Verscheidenheid XXXVIII. 2000 http://cedar. van Lamoen References [1] O. [2] C. The Netherlands E-mail address: f.edu/˜ck6/encyclopedia/. Kimberling. in Verscheidenheden. [3] C. Kimberling. p.evansville. Congressus Numerantium.51. Floor van Lamoen: Statenhof 3.v. Triangle Centers and Central Triangles. 4463 TV Goes.

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