The picture which contains a mixture of the points we’ll constantly feature in most our posts this year is:

In furtherance of our previous post, we’re still discussing point , which one can easily pinpoint in the above picture. Its coordinates are given by

(1)

relative to the vertices , , of the parent triangle . It lies on the *nine-point circle* of , as we saw through numerous numerical examples previously (a proper proof will be provided later). In general, is distinct from the nine traditional points through which the nine-point circle passes (the *mid-point of each side*, the *foot of each altitude*, the *midpoint of the line segment from the orthocenter to each vertex*), and so we’ve chosen to call it “new”.

Today we focus on when our purportedly new point coincides with the nine traditional points through which the nine point circle passes. (For a clue as to what other new points are on the nine-point circle, see this article.)

## Eleven sixteenths

Remember the fraction: . And the caption.

In example 2 below, we show that the sum of the squares of the distances from the center of the nine-point circle to the three vertices of a right triangle is always of the square of the hypotenuse. (Though not essential to today’s target, yet it’s what we won’t want you to forget.)

In the diagram below, PROVE that , given that is a median.

Since is a median, the area of is equal to the area of :

Also, the sum of the areas of triangles and gives the area of the parent triangle :

We’ll now simplify using the fact that , obtained previously:

Let be the center of the nine-point circle of a *right triangle* , where . PROVE that .

Since the center of the nine-point circle is the midpoint of the orthocenter () and the circumcenter () of , we have that

(2)

The cosine law, applied to and , gives:

(3)

Add the two equations in (3) and use the fact that from example 1:

## Elegant solution: CLICK to see

where , , and , as per usual notation. In the case of a *right triangle* with hypotenuse having length , we have that and then . In turn:

Assuming one was not aware of the relation

there’s still another direct proof that’s simpler than the one we presented via examples 1 and 2 above. After solving a problem, always check for better solutions.

Please see exercise 3 for a non-right triangle where a modified version of the above result holds.

## Equivalent statements

We now consider when the point with coordinates given in equation (1) coincides with the nine traditional points through which the nine-point circle passes. Our findings are easy to verify, so we skip the proofs.

*equivalent*:

- coincides with the
*midpoint*of - sides and have
*opposite*slopes

In particular, for a *right triangle*, is precisely the *circumcenter* if and only if the legs have slopes .

## Extraneous secret: CLICK to reveal

*equivalent*:

- coincides with the
*foot of the altitude*from vertex - side is parallel to the -axis or parallel to the -axis

Something extremely pleasant happens if we combine condition above with condition below. See exercise 3 for the exquisite product.

*equivalent*:

- coincides with the midpoint of the
*orthocenter*and the*foot of the altitude*from vertex - sides and have
*reciprocal*slopes

## Exclusive six

Our next set of equivalent statements ultimately pertain only to the *right triangle* — the right triangle with legs parallel to the coordinate axes.

*equivalent*:

- , where is the
*orthocenter* - two sides of the triangle are parallel to the coordinate axes
- coincides with one of the triangle’s vertices
- the slopes of the three medians form a
*geometric progression*with common ratio - the slopes of the three medians form an
*arithmetic progression*with common difference equal to times the first term () - one side of the triangle is parallel to the -axis and another side and the median to it have
*opposite*slopes.

A proper confluence of concepts right there. Among them all, the one that tickles our fancy the most is the fourth one, just because it has to do with that precious thing they call *geometric progressions*.

PROVE that if coincides with the *orthocenter*, then two sides of the triangle are parallel to the coordinate axes.

Despite the two different definitions of the line segments that yield them as points of concurrency, the *orthocenter* and our point have similar representations. For the orthocenter, the coordinates are:

(4)

and so if the two points coincide, then combining (1) and (4) gives

(5)

Only one factor from each equation can be zero. For example, let’s choose . Then in the second equation we can’t have . The choice is either or . Whichever one is chosen, we’ll have one side parallel to the -axis () and another side parallel to the -axis ( or ).

PROVE that if two sides of a triangle are parallel to the coordinate axes, then coincides with one of the triangle’s vertices.

This is an application of example 4 above. Alternatively, suppose that and . Then, using equation (1) we have:

PROVE that if coincides with one of the vertices of a triangle, then the slopes of the three medians form a geometric progression with common ratio .

(6)

We can’t have from the first equation. Otherwise, none of the factors in the second equation can be zero.

Let from the first equation. Then we can’t have in the second equation, and we can’t also have from the second equation. Only permissible option is . Thus, we have and , giving a triangle with two sides parallel to the coordinate axes.

Let from the first equation. Then, in the second equation, we can’t have and we can’t have . The only option remaining is . Thus, we have and , again giving a triangle with two sides parallel to the coordinate axes.

The rest of the proof now follows from example 9 here, or example 10 here.

PROVE that if a three-term geometric progression has common ratio , then it is an arithmetic progression when re-arranged.

We’re doing the easy proofs. Let the first term of the progression be . Since the common ratio is , enumerate the geometric progression as

and then interchange the first and second terms

to obtain an arithmetic progression in which the common difference is .

PROVE that if a three-term arithmetic progression has a common difference ( being the first term), then it is a geometric progression with common ratio when re-arranged.

Let the first term of the arithmetic progression be . Since the common difference is , enumerate the terms as

and then re-arrange them as

The latter is a geometric progression with common ratio .

It remains to show that to complete the equivalence. Quite Easily Done.

## Takeaway

For with vertices , , , the following statements are *equivalent*:

- coincides with the foot of the altitude from vertex
- side is parallel to the -axis or is parallel to the -axis
- the slopes of the three medians form an arithmetic progression with common difference , or the
*reciprocals*of the slopes of the three medians form an arithmetic progression with common difference .

o.

## Tasks

- In a right triangle, PROVE that coincides with the
*circumcenter*if and only if the slopes of the legs are . - (Likely converse) In , let . If a point is such that , is the
*nine-point center of*? - (Losing count) This exercise relates to a
*special*triangle, representative of all triangles with one side parallel to the -axis and the two other sides having*reciprocal slopes*. Let , , be the coordinates of the vertices of . Assuming , PROVE that:- the slopes of sides and are
*reciprocals*of each other - the
*nine-point center*of lies on side - the
*circumcenter*of lies on a line through vertex and parallel to side - the
*foot of the altitude*from vertex is precisely the midpoint of the line segment joining to the*orthocenter* - the
*foot of the altitude*from vertex is precisely the point - the
*circum-radius*satisfies - the
*slope of the Euler line*__cannot__be - , where is the
*nine-point center*(compare with example 2) - the point lies on the
*circumcircle*of - , where is the point given above
- , so is a diameter of the
*circumcircle*of - , where is the
*orthocenter*of - the
*orthic triangle*is__always__isosceles - the
*orthic triangle*is equilateral, if - the parent is isosceles when
- the
*circum-radius*equals one of the side-lengths when .

- the slopes of sides and are
- PROVE that the following statements are
*equivalent*:- coincides with the
*midpoint*of - sides and have
*opposite*slopes - the
*area*of is or

- coincides with the
- Consider in which , , and . If vertex is extended to point on the circumcircle in such a way that is parallel to , PROVE that:
- is a diameter of the circumcircle
- (so we also have ).