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Circles in a triangle

Submitted By:offsky
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Difficulty:**** (3.17)

Find the radius of the inscribed and circumscribed circles for a triangle.


Let a, b, and c be the sides of the triangle. Let s be the semiperimeter, i.e. s = (a + b + c) / 2. Let A be the area of the triangle, and let x be the radius of the incircle.

Divide the triangle into three smaller triangles by drawing a line segment from each vertex to the incenter. The areas of the smaller triangles are ax/2, bx/2, and cx/2. Thus, A = ax/2 + bx/2 + cx/2, or A = sx.

We use Heron`s formula, which is A = sqrt(s(s-a)(s-b)(s-c)). This gives us x = sqrt((s-a)(s-b)(s-c)/s).

The radius of the circumscribed circle is given by R = abc/4A.

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