Dividing a Right Triangle by the Altitude to the Hypotenuse

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Draw the altitude to the hypotenuse of a right triangle. Then the two triangles formed are similar to the original triangle and to each other. (In the figure, triangles ABC, BDA, and CDB are similar.) Also, corresponding angles are congruent and ratios of corresponding sides are equal.


Drag the orange points to change the figure.


Contributed by: Jay Warendorff (March 2011)
Open content licensed under CC BY-NC-SA




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