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Geometry

DEFINITION

Two geometrical objects are called similar if one is congruent to the result of a uniform scaling of the other.

enlarging/shrinking

Examples

One can be obtained by the other by uniformly “stretching”

X

Y

Examples

Both have the same shape

Examples

One has the same shape as the mirror image of the other

Examples

All circles are similar to each other All squares are similar to each other All parabolas are similar to each other

Examples

Two triangles are similar iff they have the same three angles, the so-called “AAA” condition

SIMILAR POLYGONS

Polygons for which all corresponding angles are congruent and all corresponding sides are proportional

Example

90°

90°

Example

Problem: Find the value of x, y and the measure of angle P.

Example

Solution: (for x) 4=x 6 9 6x = 36 x=6

Example

Solution: (for y) 4=7 6 y 4y = 42 y = 10.5

Example

To find angle P, note that angle P and angle S are corresponding angles.

Example

By definition of similar polygons, angle P ≅ angle S 86°. Final Answer: x=6 y = 10.5 angle P = 86°

SIMILAR TRIANGLES

If ∆ABC is similar to ∆DEF, then this relation can be denoted as ∆ABC ~ ∆DEF

Example

For two triangles to be similar, it is sufficient for them to have at least two angles that are similar. If this is true, then the third angle will also match, since the three angles of the triangle must add up to 180°. ∆ = 180° = angle 1 + angle 2 + angle 3

**SPECIAL SIMILARITY RULES
**

Angle-Angle (AA) Similarity Side-Side-Side (SSS) Similarity Side-Angle-Side (SAS) Similarity

**Angle-Angle Similarity
**

If two angles of one triangle are congruent to two angles of another triangle, then the triangles are similar.

Example

Problem: Prove ∆ABE is similar to ∆CDE.

Example

Solution: Angle A and angle C are congruent. Angle AEB and angle CED are congruent because vertical angles are congruent. ∆ABE ~ ∆CDE by AA similarity.

Example

**Side-Side-Side Similarity
**

If all pairs of corresponding sides of two triangles are proportional, then they are similar.

**Side-Angle-Side Similarity
**

If one angle of a triangle is congruent to one angle of another triangle and the sides that include those angles are proportional, then the two triangles are similar.

Example

Problem: Are the triangles shown in the figure similar?

Example

Solution: UV = 9 = 3 KL 12 4

Example

Solution: VW = 15 = 3 LM 20 4

Example

The sides include angle V and angle L are proportional. Angle V and angle L are proportional. Angle V and angle L are congruent. ∆UVS ~ ∆KLM by SAS.

Example

**PARALLEL LINES & TRIANGLES
**

A segment parallel to one side of a triangle in the triangle can create similar triangles.

Example

Problem: Find PT and PR.

Example

Solution: 4=x 7 12 7x = 48 x = 6.85

Example

Solution: PT = 6.85 PR = 12 + 6.85 = 18.85

6.85

Example

Problem: If a 6-foot man casts a 3-foot shadow at the same time that a tree casts an 8-foot shadow, what is the height of the tree?

Example

=?

Example

H 6 ft 8 ft 3 ft

Example

Solution: H=8 6 3 H3 = 48 H = 16

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