# Find the Fourth Proportional of Three Lengths

### Geometric Construction with the Compass Alone

Let the quantities a, b, c be defined as the lengths of three given segments. Find x such that a/b = c/x.

## Solution

We shall consider three cases:

- c<2a
- c ≥ 2a, b < 2a
- c ≥ 2a, b ≥ 2a

In the case 1, take an arbitrary point O and describe two circles (I and II) with radii a and b, respectively. Pick a point A on the first circle (I) as the center and swing an arc with radius c to find the intersection point B.

Now, with A and B as centers draw two circles of an arbitrary radius

### Proof

Indeed, the triangles ABO and CDO are similar isosceles triangles.

In the second case, consider the proportion

In the third case, use Problem #1 to construct a segment of length na such that

### Problems (Use a compass only)

- Multiply a Line Segment by a Whole Number
- Reflect a Point in a Line Sgement
- Cross a Circle by a Line Segment
- Drop a Perpendicular to a Line from a Point
- Detect Collinearity
- Complete a Parallelogram
- Bisect an Arc
- Find the Points of Intersection of a Circle with a Line Segment
- Build a Square on a Given Side
- Find the Fourth Proportional of Three Lengths
- Find the Intersection of Two Straight Lines
- Divide a Line Segment into a Whole Number of Parts
- Find the Center of a Given Circle
- Bisect a given line
- Mascheroni Construction of a Regular Pentagon
- A Compass Only Construction - A Chord Tangent to an Inner circle

|Contact| |Front page| |Contents| |Up| |Store|

Copyright © 1996-2017 Alexander Bogomolny61255924 |