presentation - Framingham State University

```PTOLEMY’S THEOREM:
A well-known result
that is not that
well-known.
Pat Touhey
Misericordia University
Dallas, PA 18612
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Ptolemy’s
Theorem
The product of the
diagonals equals
the sum of the
products of the
two pairs of
opposite sides.
AC  BD  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
(Proof)
First,
consider DBC
then
Construct ABE
equal to DBC
(Elements I - 23)
But we also have
BAE  BDC
But we also have
BAE  BDC
Since they are
inscribed angles
intercepting the
same arc.
(Elements III – 21)
Thus we have
similar triangles.
ABE 
DBC
Thus we have
similar triangles.
ABE 
DBC
And by
corresponding
parts,
AE
CD
=
AB
BD
Thus we have
similar triangles.
ABE 
DBC
And by
corresponding
parts,
AE
CD
=
AB
BD
So (1)
AE  BD  AB  CD
Now note since
ABE = DBC
Now note since
ABE = DBC
to both
yields
ABD  EBC
But we also have
But we also have
Again,
since they are
inscribed angles
intercepting the
same arc.
And so we have
similar,
overlapping
triangles,
BCE
And we have
similar,
overlapping
triangles,
BCE 
BDA
And by
corresponding
parts we have
EC
=
BD
BC
So (2)
EC  BD  AD  BC
Now consider our
two equations,
(1)
AE  BD  AB  CD
and
(2)
EC  BD  AD  BC
AE  BD  AB  CD
plus
EC  BD  AD  BC
yields
( AE  BD)  ( EC  BD)  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
AE  BD  AB  CD
plus
EC  BD  AD  BC
yields
( AE  BD)  ( EC  BD)  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
( AE  EC )  BD  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
AE  BD  AB  CD
plus
EC  BD  AD  BC
yields
( AE  BD)  ( EC  BD)  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
( AE  EC )  BD  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
AC  BD  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
Ptolemy’s
Theorem
The product of the
diagonals equals
the sum of the
products of the
two pairs of
opposite sides.
AC  BD  ( AB  CD)  ( AD  BC )
Ptolemy’s Almagest
translated by G. J. Toomer , Princeton (1998)
Ptolemy’s - “Almagest” - c.150 AD
“…by
the early fourth century … the
Almagest had become the standard textbook on
astronomy which it was to remain for more than a
thousand years.
It was dominant to an extent and for a length
of time which is unsurpassed by any scientific work
except Euclid’s Elements.”
- G.J. Toomer
Ptolemy’s “Almagest”
* Early mathematical Astronomy
* Based on Spherical Trigonometry
* Table of Chords
* Plane Trigonometry
Trigonometriae – 1595
by Bartholomew Pitiscus
Trigonometry
Right Triangles
Opposite
sin θ =
Hypotenuse
cos θ =
Hypotenuse
Opposite
tan θ =
SOHCAHTOA
Geometry
of the
Unit Circle
Center (0,0)
Geometry of
the Circle
and an angle 
Duplicate the
configuration to
form an angle 2
and its associated
chord 2R sin  
And any inscribed
angle cutting off
that chord
measures 
Now let R = ½
So that
the diameter is a
unit.
And we see that
the chord
subtended by an
inscribed angle 
is simply sin( )
Using the diameter
as one side of the
inscribed angle we
have a triangle.
Using the diameter
as one side of the
inscribed angle we
have a triangle.
A right triangle,
by Thales.
And by
SOHCAHTOA
we have the
Pythagorean
Identity
cos   sin   1
2
2
Using another
inscribed angle 
perform similar
constructions on
the other side of
the diameter AC.
The two triangles
form a
The diameter is
one diagonal.
Construct the
other and use
Ptolemy.
The diameter is
one diagonal.
Construct the
other and use
Ptolemy.
formula for sine.
sin(   ) 
sin( ) cos( )  cos( )sin( )
Ptolemy’s
Almagest
The first
corollary of
Ptolemy’s
Theorem.
sin(   ) 
sin( ) cos( )  cos( )sin( )
Consider an
equilateral
triangle
Construct the
circumcircle
Pick any point on
the circumcircle
Draw the
segment from P
to the farthest
vertex, AP
Draw the
segment from P
to the farthest
vertex AP
It equals the
sum of the
segments to the
other vertices
AP  BP  CP
(Proof)
Consider the
and use Ptolemy’s.
(Proof)
Consider the
and use Ptolemy’s.
s  AP  s  BP  s  CP

s  AP  s  BP  CP
AP  BP  CP

Kung S.H.
(1992).
Proof without Words:
The Law of Cosines
via Ptolemy's Theorem,
Mathematics Magazine,
65 (2) 103.
Derrick W. & Hirstein J. (2012).
Proof Without Words: Ptolemy’s Theorem,
The College Mathematics Journal, 43 (5) 386-386.
Casey’s Theorem
Casey, J. (1866), Math. Proc. R. Ir. Acad. 9: 396.
t13  t24  t12  t34  t23  t41
References:
Ptolemy’s Almagest:
translated by G. J. Toomer , Princeton (1998)
Euclid’s Elements
translated by T. L. Heath, Green Lion (2002)
Trigonometric Delights
by Eli Maor, Princeton (1998)
The Mathematics of the Heavens and the Earth
by Glen Van Brummelen, Princeton (2009)
```