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You are on page 1of 3

Ptolemy’s Theorem

Oleg Golberg

1 Introduction

Theorem 1 (Ptolemy’s Theorem). If ABCD is a cyclic quadrilateral, then AB · CD + AD · BC =

AC · BD.

**Theorem 2 (Ptolemy’s Inequality). If A, B, C, D are four points in the plane, then AB · CD +
**

AD · BC ≥ AC · BD. Equality is achieved iff ABCD is a (possibly degenerate) cyclic quadrilateral.

**Problem 1. Let ABCD be a cyclic quadrilateral. Construct point E on diagonal BD such
**

that ∠AED = ∠ABC. Find two pairs of similar triangles on the diagram and deduce Ptolemy’s

Theorem.

Problem 2. Let a, b, c, d be complex numbers. Prove that

(a − b)(c − d) + (d − a)(c − b) = (a − c)(b − d).

Deduce Ptolemy’s Inequality.

**Problem 3. Let A, B, C, D be four points in the plane. Let B ? , C ? , D? be the images of B, C, D
**

respectively under the inversion with center A and radius 1. Find the distances between B ? , C ? , D?

in terms of the distances between A, B, C, D. Deduce Ptolemy’s Inequality.

2 Problems

Problem 4. Let α = π7 . Prove that

1 1 1

= + .

sin α sin 2α sin 3α

Problem 5. Let ABCD be a cyclic quadrilateral. Prove that

AC AB · AD + CB · CD

= .

BD BA · BC + DA · DC

Problem 6. Let da , db , dc be the distances from the circumcenter of an acute triangle to its sides

and let R and r be its circumradius and inradius respectively. Prove that da + db + dc = R + r.

**Problem 7. The bisector of angle A of triangle ABC meets its circumcircle at D. Prove that
**

AB + AC ≤ 2AD.

**Problem 8. √Point P is chosen on the arc CD of the circumcircle of a square ABCD. Prove that
**

P A + P C = 2P B.

**Problem 9. Let ABCD be a parallelogram. A circle passes through A and meets segments
**

AB, AC, AD at P, Q, R respectively. Prove that AP · AB + AR · AD = AQ · AC.

**Problem 10. (a) Point D is chosen on the arc BC of the circumcircle of an equilateral triangle
**

ABC. Prove that DA = DB + DC.

Oleg Golberg Ptolemy’s Theorem December 22, 2007

**(b) Point A is chosen on the arc A1 A2n+1 of the circumcircle of a regular (2n+1)-gon A1 A2 · · · A2n+1 .
**

Prove that

AA1 + AA3 + · · · + AA2n+1 = AA2 + AA4 + · · · + AA2n .

**Problem 11. Circles of radii x and y are tangent externally to a circle of radius R. The distance
**

between the points of tangency is a. Find the length of a common external tangent to the circles.

**Theorem 3 (Casey’s Theorem). Circles α, β, γ, δ are externally tangent to a fifth circle at A, B, C, D
**

respectively, and ABCD is a convex quadrilateral. Let tαβ be the length of a common external

tangent to α and β. Define tβγ etc. similarly. Then

**tαβ tγδ + tβγ tδα = tαγ tβδ .
**

Oleg Golberg Ptolemy’s Theorem December 22, 2007

Homework Problem

Problem 1. (a) Let ω1 , ω2 be disjoint circles and let A be a point outside both of them. Let t1 , t2

be the lengths of tangents from A to ω1 , ω2 respectively and let t be the length of a common

external tangent to ω1 , ω2 . Let ω1? , ω2? be the images of ω1 , ω2 respectively under the inversion

with center A and radius 1. Find the length of a common external tangent to ω1 , ω2 in terms

of t, t1 , t2 .

(b) Devise a proof of Casey’s theorem that mimics the “inversion proof” of Ptolemy’s theorem.

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