2016 AMC 8 Problems/Problem 25
A semicircle is inscribed in an isosceles triangle with base and height so that the diameter of the semicircle is contained in the base of the triangle as shown. What is the radius of the semicircle?
First, we draw a line perpendicular to the base of the triangle and cut the triangle in half. The base of the resulting right triangle would be 8, and the height would be 15. Using the Pythagorean theorem, we can find the length of the hypotenuse, which would be 17. Using the two legs of the right angle, we can find the area of the right triangle, . times results in the radius, which is the height of the right triangle when using the hypotenuse as the base. The answer is .
Solution 2: Similar Triangles
Let's call the triangle where and Let's say that is the midpoint of and is the point where is tangent to the semicircle. We could also use instead of because of symmetry.
Notice that and are both 8-15-17 right triangles. We also know that we create a right angle with the intersection of the radius and a tangent line of a circle (or part of a circle). So, by similarity, with and This similarity means that we can create a proportion: We plug in and After we multiply both sides by we get
(By the way, we could also use )
Solution 3: Inscribed Circle
We'll call this triangle . Let the midpoint of base be . Divide the triangle in half by drawing a line from to . Half the base of is . The height is , which is given in the question. Using the Pythagorean Triple --, the length of each of the legs ( and ) is 17.
Reflect the triangle over its base. This will create an inscribed circle in a rhombus . Because , . Therefore .
The semiperimeter of the rhombus is . Since the area of is , the area of the rhombus is twice that, which is .
The Formula for the Incircle of a Quadrilateral is = . Substituting the semiperimeter and area into the equation, . Solving this, = .
Solution 4: Inscribed Circle
Noting that we have a 8-15-17 triangle, we can find and Let , Then by similar triangles (or "Altitude on Hypotenuse") we have Thus, Now again by "Altitude on Hypotenuse”, Therefore
Solution 5: Simple Trigonometry(10 second solve)
Denote the bottom left vertex of the isosceles triangle to be
Denote the bottom right vertex of the isosceles triangle to be
Denote the top vertex of the isosceles triangle to be
Drop an altitude from to side . Denote the foot of intersection to be .
By the Pythagorean Theorem, .
Now, we see that .
This implies that (r=radius of semicircle).
Solution 6: Area (Even simpler than Solution 5)
Credits for Asymptote go to whoever wrote this diagram up in Solution 2.
There are two ways to find the area of . The first way is the most obvious, and that is to multiply the base times the height () and then divide it by two. The second way is, in a way, a little more complex. Note that and are congruent. This means that if we find the area of one triangle, we can just multiply it's area by 2 and we've found the area of the larger triangle . But since we always divide by two, as it is in the formula for finding the area of a triangle, the multiply by two and divide by two cancel out, giving us that if we just multiply base times height of , we will get the area of .
Now you might think: "But what is the other way of finding the area". Well that is , which would be the base, times , the radius, which would be the height.
The first way to find the area gives us the area of the , . This gives us ( signifies radius). We can find using the Pythagorean Theorem on . The two legs are and , which gives us that the hypotenuse, , is equal to .
Now that we have an equation with only one variable for the radius, , we can just solve for the radius. We get .
This may seem like a lengthy explanation, but doing it yourself when you know what to do, it actually takes very little time. Try it yourself!