2012 AMC 10A Problems/Problem 15

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Problem

Three unit squares and two line segments connecting two pairs of vertices are shown. What is the area of $\triangle ABC$?

[asy] unitsize(2cm); defaultpen(linewidth(.8pt)+fontsize(10pt)); dotfactor=4;  pair A=(0,0), B=(1,0); pair C=(0.8,-0.4); draw(A--(2,0)); draw((0,-1)--(2,-1)); draw((0,-2)--(1,-2)); draw(A--(0,-2)); draw(B--(1,-2)); draw((2,0)--(2,-1)); draw(A--(2,-1)); draw(B--(0,-2));  pair[] ps={A,B,C}; dot(ps);  label("$A$",A,N); label("$B$",B,N); label("$C$",C,W); [/asy]

$\textbf{(A)}\ \frac16 \qquad\textbf{(B)}\ \frac15 \qquad\textbf{(C)}\ \frac29 \qquad\textbf{(D)}\ \frac13 \qquad\textbf{(E)}\ \frac{\sqrt{2}}{4}$

Solution

[asy] unitsize(2cm); defaultpen(linewidth(.8pt)+fontsize(10pt)); dotfactor=4;  pair A=(0,0), B=(1,0); pair C=(0.8,-0.4); pair D=(1,-2), E=(0,-2); draw(A--(2,0)); draw((0,-1)--(2,-1)); draw(E--D); draw(A--E); draw(B--D); draw((2,0)--(2,-1)); draw(A--(2,-1)); draw(B--E);  pair[] ps={A,B,C,D,E}; dot(ps);  label("$A$",A,N); label("$B$",B,N); label("$C$",C,W); label("$D$",D,S); label("$E$",E,S); label("$1$",(D--E),S); label("$1$",(A--B),N); label("$2$",(A--E),W); label("$\sqrt{5}$",(B--E),NW); [/asy]

$AC$ intersects $BC$ at a right angle, so $\triangle ABC \sim \triangle BED$. The hypotenuse of right triangle BED is $\sqrt{1^2+2^2}=\sqrt{5}$.

\[\frac{AC}{BC}=\frac{BD}{ED} \Rightarrow \frac{AC}{BC} = \frac21 \Rightarrow AC=2BC\]

\[\frac{AC}{AB}=\frac{BD}{BE} \Rightarrow \frac{AC}{1}=\frac{2}{\sqrt{5}} \Rightarrow AC=\frac{2}{\sqrt{5}}\]

Since AC=2BC, $BC=\frac{1}{\sqrt{5}}$. $\triangle ABC$ is a right triangle so the area is just $\frac12 \cdot AC \cdot BC = \frac12 \cdot \frac{2}{\sqrt{5}} \cdot \frac{1}{\sqrt{5}} = \boxed{\textbf{(B)}\ \frac15}$

See Also

2012 AMC 10A (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 14
Followed by
Problem 16
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