1999 AIME Problems/Problem 14

Problem

Point $P_{}$ is located inside triangle $ABC$ so that angles $PAB, PBC,$ and $PCA$ are all congruent. The sides of the triangle have lengths $AB=13, BC=14,$ and $CA=15,$ and the tangent of angle $PAB$ is $m/n,$ where $m_{}$ and $n_{}$ are relatively prime positive integers. Find $m+n.$

Solution

[asy] real theta = 29.66115; /* arctan(168/295) to five decimal places .. don't know other ways to construct Brocard */  pathpen = black +linewidth(0.65); pointpen = black; pair A=(0,0),B=(13,0),C=IP(circle(A,15),circle(B,14)); D(MP("A",A)--MP("B",B)--MP("C",C,N)--cycle);  /* constructing P, C is there as check */ pair Aa=A+(B-A)*dir(theta),Ba=B+(C-B)*dir(theta),Ca=C+(A-C)*dir(theta), P=IP(A--Aa,B--Ba);  D(A--MP("P",P,NW)--B);D(P--C); D(anglemark(B,A,P,30));D(anglemark(C,B,P,30));D(anglemark(A,C,P,30)); MP("13",(A+B)/2,S);MP("15",(A+C)/2,NW);MP("14",(C+B)/2,NE); [/asy]

Solution 1

Drop perpendiculars from $P$ to the three sides of $\triangle ABC$ and let them meet $\overline{AB}, \overline{BC},$ and $\overline{CA}$ at $D, E,$ and $F$ respectively.

[asy] import olympiad; real theta = 29.66115; /* arctan(168/295) to five decimal places .. don't know other ways to construct Brocard */  pathpen = black +linewidth(0.65); pointpen = black; pair A=(0,0),B=(13,0),C=IP(circle(A,15),circle(B,14)); D(MP("A",A)--MP("B",B)--MP("C",C,N)--cycle);  /* constructing P, C is there as check */ pair Aa=A+(B-A)*dir(theta),Ba=B+(C-B)*dir(theta),Ca=C+(A-C)*dir(theta), P=IP(A--Aa,B--Ba);  D(A--MP("P",P,SSW)--B);D(P--C); D(anglemark(B,A,P,30));D(anglemark(C,B,P,30));D(anglemark(A,C,P,30)); MP("13",(A+B)/2,S);MP("15",(A+C)/2,NW);MP("14",(C+B)/2,NE);  /* constructing D,E,F as foot of perps from P */ pair D=foot(P,A,B),E=foot(P,B,C),F=foot(P,C,A); D(MP("D",D,NE)--P--MP("E",E,SSW),dashed);D(P--MP("F",F),dashed); D(rightanglemark(P,E,C,15));D(rightanglemark(P,F,C,15));D(rightanglemark(P,D,A,15)); [/asy]

Let $BE = x, CF = y,$ and $AD = z$. We have that \begin{align*}DP&=z\tan\theta\\ EP&=x\tan\theta\\ FP&=y\tan\theta\end{align*} We can then use the tool of calculating area in two ways \begin{align*}[ABC]&=[PAB]+[PBC]+[PCA]\\ &=\frac{1}{2}(13)(z\tan\theta)+\frac{1}{2}(14)(x\tan\theta)+\frac{1}{2}(15)(y\tan\theta)\\ &=\frac{1}{2}\tan\theta(13z+14x+15y)\end{align*} On the other hand, \begin{align*}[ABC]&=\sqrt{s(s-a)(s-b)(s-c)}\\ &=\sqrt{21\cdot6\cdot7\cdot8}\\ &=84\end{align*} We still need $13z+14x+15y$ though. We have all these right triangles and we haven't even touched Pythagoras. So we give it a shot: \begin{align}x^2+x^2\tan^2\theta&=z^2\tan^2\theta+(13-z)^2\\ z^2+z^2\tan^2\theta&=y^2\tan^2\theta+(15-y)^2\\ y^2+y^2\tan^2\theta&=x^2\tan^2\theta+(14-x)^2\end{align} Adding $(1) + (2) + (3)$ gives \begin{align*}x^2+y^2+z^2&=(14-x)^2+(15-y)^2+(13-z)^2\\ \Rightarrow13z+14x+15y&=295\end{align*} Recall that we found that $[ABC]=\frac{1}{2}\tan\theta(13z+14x+15y)=84$. Plugging in $13z+14x+15y=295$, we get $\tan\theta=\frac{168}{295}$, giving us $\boxed{463}$ for an answer.

Solution 2

Let $AB=c$, $BC=a$, $AC=b$, $PA=x$, $PB=y$, and $PC=z$.

So by the Law of Cosines, we have: \begin{align*}x^2 &= z^2 + b^2 - 2bz\cos{\theta}\\ y^2 &= x^2 + c^2 - 2cx\cos{\theta}\\ z^2 &= y^2 + a^2 - 2ay\cos{\theta}\end{align*} Adding these equations and rearranging, we have: \[a^2 + b^2 + c^2 = (2bz + 2cx + 2ay)\cos{\theta}\qquad(1)\] Now $[CAP] + [ABP] + [BCP] = [ABC] = \sqrt {(21)(8)(7)(6)} = 84$, by Heron's formula.

Now the area of a triangle, $[A] = \frac {mn\sin{\beta}}{2}$, where $m$ and $n$ are sides on either side of an angle, $\beta$. So, \begin{align*}[CAP] &= \frac {bz\sin{\theta}}{2}\\ [ABP] &= \frac {cx\sin{\theta}}{2}\\ [BCP] &= \frac {ay\sin{\theta}}{2}\end{align*} Adding these equations yields: \begin{align*}[ABC]= 84 &= \frac {(bz + cx + ay)\sin{\theta}}{2}\\ \Rightarrow 168&= (bz + cx + ay)\sin{\theta}\qquad (2)\end{align*} Dividing $(2)$ by $(1)$, we have: \begin{align*}\frac {168}{a^2 + b^2 + c^2} &= \frac {(bz + cx + ay)\sin{\theta}}{(2bz + 2cx + 2ay)\cos{\theta}}\\ \Rightarrow \tan{\theta} = \frac {336}{a^2 + b^2 + c^2} &= \frac {336}{14^2 + 15^2 + 13^2} = \frac {336}{590} = \frac {168}{295}\end{align*} Thus, $m + n = 168 + 295 = \boxed{463}$.

Note: In fact, this problem is unfairly easy to those who happen to have learned about Brocard point. The Brocard Angle is given by \[cot(\theta)=\frac{a^2+b^2+c^2}{4\Delta}\]

Solution 3

Let $\angle{PAB} = \angle{PBC} = \angle{PCA} = x.$ Then, using Law of Cosines on the three triangles containing vertex $P,$ we have \begin{align*} b^2 &= a^2 + 169 - 26a \cos x \\ c^2 &= b^2 + 196 - 28b \cos x \\ a^2 &= c^2 + 225 - 30c \cos x. \end{align*} Add the three equations up and rearrange to obtain \[(13a + 14b + 15c) \cos x = 295.\] Also, using $[ABC] = \frac{1}{2}ab \sin \angle C$ we have \[[ABC] = [APB] + [BPC] + [CPA] = \dfrac{\sin x}{2}(13a + 14b + 15c) = 84 \iff (13a + 14b + 15c) \sin x = 168.\] Divide the two equations to obtain $\tan x = \frac{168}{295} \iff \boxed{463}.~\square$

Solution 4

By splitting the triangle down its altitude, we get a $5,12,13$ and $9,12,15$ triangle. Then $\angle{ABC} = a \cos{\frac{5}{13}}$ and $\angle{ACB} = a \cos{\frac{3}{5}}$. We do this similarly for $\angle CAB$ using Law of Cosine, this is $a \cos{\frac{33}{65}}$. Now use Law of Sine on triangle $PCA$. We find that $\frac{\sin{\alpha}}{AP} = \frac{\sin{\angle{CPA}}}{15}$. Substituting values in we get $\frac{\sin{\alpha}}{AP} = \frac{\frac{56}{65}}{15}$. Similar expression for triangle $BPA$, relating expression for $AP$ on that side gets us 2 equation 2 unknown for $\alpha$ and $AP$. Solving for the tangent of alpha, we get $\frac{168}{295} = \boxed{463}$.

See also

1999 AIME (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 13
Followed by
Problem 15
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
All AIME Problems and Solutions

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