Bisect a given line segment AB

Geometric Construction with the Compass Alone

Solution

Construct a point C such that AC = 2·AB (Problem #1). Swing an arc of radius CA with center C. This will intersect the circle of radius AB centered at A at points D and E. Draw two arcs of radii DA and EA (which are both equal to AB) and centers at, respectively, D and E. Besides A, the two arcs will intersect at another point F which is the middle of the segment AB.

Indeed, ΔACE is similar to the ΔAFE (they are both isosceles and share ∠EAF. From here, AC/AE = AE/AF. But AC/AE = 2·AB/AB = 2. Therefore, AB = AE = 2·AF.


Problems (Use a compass only)

  1. Multiply a Line Segment by a Whole Number
  2. Reflect a Point in a Line Sgement
  3. Cross a Circle by a Line Segment
  4. Drop a Perpendicular to a Line from a Point
  5. Detect Collinearity
  6. Complete a Parallelogram
  7. Bisect an Arc
  8. Find the Points of Intersection of a Circle with a Line Segment
  9. Build a Square on a Given Side
  10. Find the Fourth Proportional of Three Lengths
  11. Find the Intersection of Two Straight Lines
  12. Divide a Line Segment into a Whole Number of Parts
  13. Find the Center of a Given Circle
  14. Bisect a given line
  15. Mascheroni Construction of a Regular Pentagon
  16. A Compass Only Construction - A Chord Tangent to an Inner circle

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