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2nd October 2012

A geometric proof of the Thales' Theorem (and

MathJax and Blogger)

As if you couldn't figure out that this blog belong to a hard-core geek, I'm going to publish a actual
mathematical proof (and in mathspeak, too).
I do not actually expect people to read this, I'm posting this merely to test out MathJax in Blogger
[#Mathjax] (on which I'll be posting soon) and as this is aconvenientplace to post stuff to and link to.
Here goes nothing:

Intro: WTH is the Thales' Theorem?

The Thales theorem, as defined by Wikipedia [] , is:
Thales' theorem states that if A, B and C are points on a circle where the line AC is a
diameter of the circle, then the angle ABC is a right angle;
Or more simply (but equivalently):
If you draw a triangle with a base the diameter of a semicircle, it'll always be a righttriangle;
If that just went over your head like a big pile of gobble-de-gook, then here's a picture:

Visual representation of the Thales' Theorem

The proof: Triangles and Circumcircles

OK, so now we start the actual proof. A circumcircle of a polygon, as defined by Wikipedia
[] , is:
A circle which passes through all the vertices of the a polygon

Of course, not all polygons have a circumcircle. Those that do are called 'cyclic'.All triangles happen to
be cyclic.
Now, I'm the kind of person who looks for, no, demands insights and reasons for everything. Just
accepting statements like "All triangles happen to be cyclic." is not done. There needs to be a reason,
something that satisfies my inner understanding. Why triangles?

Why alltrianglesare cyclic:

Purple Septic Doctor?
To find the circumcircle of a, first draw theperpendicular bisector of any side. Let's take the side AB of
ABC and call the bisector x . Can you see that this line is equidistant from both points? Or in
the locus of points equidistant from A & B;
Here's a helpful picture (working on it):
2 doctors are better than 1:
Now draw the perpendicular bisector ofanotherline and call it y . This line is equidistant from B & C.
Both the bisectors we've drawn will intersect at a point, let's call it O. Now, this O. It's equidistant from A
& B as it lies on x and it's also equidistant from B & C as it lies on y , so therefore it must be the same
distance from all of them. Now what?
But where are the circles?
Do you remember the definition of a circle? It's the:
locus of points equidistant from the center;
And we just found our center. All we have to do is draw the circle and we get this (diagram in progress):

Circumcircle of a right triangle:

So, right-angled triangles. Let's call itXOY right-angled at O(diagram in progress):
Grid overlaid
Now, let's imagine a gridoverlaidon your nice little (imaginary for now) diagram with XO as the x-axis
and OY as the y-axis (they're perpendicular, and therefore can be so) with O as the origin.
Complementary diagram (I'm getting sick of repeating "diagram in progress" now):
Remember the 2 perpendicular bisectors? Lets make them for XO and OY and call them x' and y'
respectively. So the co-ordinates ofthepoint X are (x_1, y_1) , Y is at (x_2, y_2) and O is (x_1, y_2) .
OK, now lets try thecircumcircleof this triangle. Draw the perpendicular bisectors of XO and OY. Note
that since OY and XY have the same y co-ordinates, the bisector of OY perpendicular to the y-axis

(which in this case is OY itself) will also bisect XY. Same applies for XO. Since both the bisectors bisect
XY, the centre of the circle is lies at the centre of the XY. Therefore, XY is the diameter of XOY's
circumcircle. Picture (not available):
Do you see that this has prove the Thales' theorem? If you remember thealternatedefinition, it stated
that if you draw a triangle with a base the diameter of a semicircle, it'll always be a right-triangle and we
just proved that.
We've come to a full circle (pun intended). Give yourself a pat and go save the unicorns
[] !

MathJAX [#Mathjax]
Enabling (the tricky part)
After a lot of Googling, hair-pulling and trial-and-error, I finally came up with something that worked for
ma blog [] on the Dynamic theme. Go to the Template
section in Settings, and click "Edit HTML". Then simply paste this snippet right before the


And that's it! Here are some more helpful links:Configuring the script []

Fixing the automatic char escaping in the Dynamic template []

Interactive Tutorial to Typesetting Math with LaTeX []

Comprehensive Cheatsheet on M.SE []

Testing (finally!)
You can quotesomethinglike \begin{equation}\label{euler} e^{i\cdot\tau} = 1 \end{equation} inline.
Just add dollar signs around the math part.
(Try reloading the page in case it isn't working; else leave a comment below with your browser name
and I'll try to fix it.)
Own line:
You can also placeformulae on their own line if you want:
\begin{equation}\label{sum} \sum_{k=1}^n k = \frac{n(n+1)}{2} \end{equation}
Just add double dollar signs or slash brackets like so:
$$ ... $$

For a great site filled with insights that will make your mind explode, see BetterExplained [] . Also see it's sister site, Aha!
[] and the author, +Kalid Azad []

Posted 2nd October 2012 by Yatharth Agarwal

Labels: howto, math
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