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Final Answers
© 2000-2017   Gérard P. Michon, Ph.D.

About Triangles

Related articles on this site:

Related Links (Outside this Site)

Morley's Redux   by  Alexander Bogomolny   (MAA Online, Nov. 2000)

Videos:  The Triangle Book  has yet to appear  by  John Conway  (MOVES 2015).
Of triangles, gases, prices and men   by  Cedric Villani  (2015-05-05).



(2005-07-26)   Napoleon's Theorem
The equilateral triangles supported by a triangle have equidistant centers.

This theorem is usually intended for equilateral triangles built outside of the base triangle, but it also holds if the three triangles are built inward.

Napoléon's theorem is one of the most rediscovered results of elementary euclidean geometry.  The French ruler  Napoléon Bonaparte  (1769-1821)  certainly had the mathematical ability to discover this for himself, but there's no evidence that he did so.  The theorem first appeared in print in 1825, in an article written for  The Ladies' Diary  by Dr. W. Rutherford.  It may well have been Rutherford himself who decided to name this theorem after the recently deceased French emperor  Napoléon I.

One easy way to prove this is to observe that properly rotating the figure by angles of  ± p/3  (successively) about the centers of two of the equilateral triangles brings the center of the third back to its original position.  This establishes the equality of two sides of the triangle formed by the centers of the 3 equilateral triangles.  Since the same argument holds with any particular choice among such centers, the aforementioned triangle is necessarily  equilateral.  QED
 Napoleon Bonaparte 
 (1769-1821)  Napoleon Bonaparte 

Napoleon Tiling :

Napoleon's theorem can be made visually obvious with a periodic tiling of the plane like the one which serves as the background for this page.  The black triangles are congruent scalene triangles in three orientations.  The  3  families of equilateral triangles are represented with  3  different colors.

Mathpages  |  Cut-the-Knot  |  MathWorld  |  Wikipedia
GeoGebra Institute of Hong Kong  (Napoleon Tiling)

(2005-07-26)   Morley's Trisector Theorem   (Morley's Miracle, 1899)
The adjacent trisectors of the 3 inner angles meet at 3 equidistant points.

This nice theorem was discovered in 1899 by  Frank Morley (1860-1937).

 Come back later, we're
 still working on this one...

Mathpages  |  Cut-the-Knot  |  MathWorld  |  Wikipedia  |  Proof by  Alain Connes

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