2005 AMC 12A Problems/Problem 16
Three circles of radius are drawn in the first quadrant of the -plane. The first circle is tangent to both axes, the second is tangent to the first circle and the -axis, and the third is tangent to the first circle and the -axis. A circle of radius is tangent to both axes and to the second and third circles. What is ?
Without loss of generality, let . Draw the segment between the center of the third circle and the large circle; this has length . We then draw the radius of the large circle that is perpendicular to the x-axis, and draw the perpendicular from this radius to the center of the third circle. This gives us a right triangle with legs and hypotenuse . The Pythagorean Theorem yields:
Quite obviously , so and .
Don't do this unless really really desperate. But I actually solved this with a ruler (try and see!!). Let and find in terms of . The rest is easy.
Solution by franzliszt