# Maxwell Theorem via the Center of Gravity

### Michel Cabart

30 April, 2008

Below we offer a proof of Maxwell's theorem that is based on the notion of barycenter. Maxwell's theorem states the following fact:

Given ΔABC and a point G, the sides of ΔMNP are parallel to the cevians in ΔABC through G. Then the cevians in ΔMNP parallel to the sides of ΔABC are concurrent.

Below, the vector joining point A to B will be written in bold, so that, for example, **AB** = - **BA**.

In ΔABC with A', B', C' on sides opposite the vertices A, B, and C, the fact that the cevians AA', BB', CC' concur in point G is equivalent to either of the two conditions:

There is a triple of real numbers | |

(1) | aGA + bGB + cGC = 0 |

There is a triple of real numbers | |

(2) |
A' = Z(B, b; C, c) B' = Z(A, a; C, c) C' = Z(A, a; B, b), |

where Z(X, x; Y, y) denotes the *barycenter* of two *material points* X and Y with masses x at X and y at Y.

Let's suppose lines AA', BB' and CC' intersect.

**Step 1**: NP, PM, MN are parallel to GA, GB, GC means there exists x, y, z such that **NP** = x**GA**,**PM** = y**GB**,**MN** = z**GC**.**NP** + **PM** + **MN** = **0**,**GA** + y**GB** + z**GC** = **0**.**NP** = a**GA**,**PM** = b**GB**,**MN** = c**GC**.

**Step 2**: MM', NN', PP' are parallel to BC, AC, AB meaning there is **MM'** = m**BC**,**NN'** = n**AC**,**PP'** = p**AB**.

**MM'** = m(**GC** - **GB**) = (m/c)**MN** + (m/b)**MP**

so that

M' = Z(N, 1/c; P, 1/b) = Z(N, b; C, c)

by multiplying by bc. Similarly,

N' = Z(M, a; P, c) and

P' = Z(M, a; N, b).

This proves the theorem thanks to (2).

### Barycenter and Barycentric Coordinates

- 3D Quadrilateral - a Coffin Problem
- Barycentric Coordinates
- Barycentric Coordinates: a Tool
- Barycentric Coordinates and Geometric Probability
- Ceva's Theorem
- Determinants, Area, and Barycentric Coordinates
- Maxwell Theorem via the Center of Gravity
- Bimedians in a Quadrilateral
- Simultaneous Generalization of the Theorems of Ceva and Menelaus
- Three glasses puzzle
- Van Obel Theorem and Barycentric Coordinates
- 1961 IMO, Problem 4. An exercise in barycentric coordinates
- Centroids in Polygon
- Center of Gravity and Motion of Material Points
- Isotomic Reciprocity
- An Affine Property of Barycenter
- Problem in Direct Similarity
- Circles in Barycentric Coordinates
- Barycenter of Cevian Triangle
- Concurrent Chords in a Circle, Equally Inclined

|Contact| |Front page| |Contents| |Geometry|

Copyright © 1996-2018 Alexander Bogomolny

68054671