Questions on the construction of geometrical figures using a limited set of "tools".

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9
votes
3answers
12k views

Compass-and-straightedge construction of the square root of a given line?

Given A straight line of arbitrary length The ability to construct a straight line in any direction from any starting point with the "unit length", or the length whose square root of its magnitude ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Representing the multiplication of two numbers on the real line

There is a simple way to graphically represent positive numbers $x$ and $y$ multiplied using only a ruler and a compass: Just draw the rectangle with height $y$ in top of it side $x$ (or vice versa), ...
3
votes
2answers
991 views

construct inverse point with respect to the circle by the use of the compass alone

If the given point P lies inside a circle C ,with center O,the circle of radius OP about P intersects C in two points. How to construct point P' inverse to point P with respect to the circle C by ...
53
votes
1answer
3k views

Direct proof that $\pi$ is not constructible

Is there a direct proof that $\pi$ is not constructible, that is, that squaring the circle cannot be done by rule and compass? Of course, $\pi$ is not constructible because it is transcendental and ...
22
votes
9answers
6k views

What is the (mathematical) point of geometric constructions?

The ancient discipline of construction by straightedge and compass is both fascinating and entertaining. But what is its significance in a mathematical sense? It is still taught in high school ...
6
votes
2answers
655 views

Equilateral triangle geometric problem

I have an Equilateral triangle with unknown side $a$. The next thing I do is to make a random point inside the triangle $P$. The distance $|AP|=3$ cm, $|BP|=4$ cm, $|CP|=5$ cm. It is the red ...
2
votes
3answers
558 views

Determine the centre of a circle

Given a circle $O$ on a paper, we do not know the centre point. Can we draw the centre only using a ruler (by which we can only draw straight lines)? One fact I know: we can draw the tangent line at ...
13
votes
2answers
608 views

Finding the circles passing through two points and touching a circle

Given two points and a circle, construct a/the circle through the two points and touching the given circle. I came across this problem in History of Numerical Analysis by H. Goldstein. I spent some ...
11
votes
3answers
981 views

Construction of a right triangle

It's a high school level question which we can't seem to solve. Here it is: Given 2 lines, one of the length of the hypotenuse and the other with the length of the sum of the 2 legs, construct ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

Drawing a triangle from medians

Is it possible to draw a triangle, if the length of its medians $(m_1, m_2, m_3)$ are given only? Someone asked me this question, but I can not see it. Is it really possible? UPDATE Apart from the ...
10
votes
1answer
98 views

Using a compass and straightedge, what is the shortest way to divide a line segment into $n$ equal parts?

Sometimes I help my next door neighbor's daughter with her homework. Today she had to trisect a line segment using a compass and straightedge. Admittedly, I had to look this up on the internet, and ...
5
votes
4answers
782 views

Constructing a triangle given three concurrent cevians?

Well, I've been taught how to construct triangles given the $3$ sides, the $3$ angles and etc. This question came up and the first thing I wondered was if the three altitudes (medians, ...
7
votes
1answer
923 views

Construction of a regular pentagon

In Robert Dixon's Mathographics, a regular pentagon is constructed with straightedge and compass only. It is the pentagon $ABCDE$ pictured below. I am having trouble seeing why the central angles ...
3
votes
2answers
131 views

Apollonius circle

I'm given two points, $A$ and $B$, and two lengths, $b$ and $c$. I need to find the locus of point $C$ such that $BC:AC=b:c$. This link describes Apollonius circle of first type, but I can't seem to ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Constructing a circle through a given point, tangent to a given line, and tangent to a given circle

While browsing around about problems similar to the problem of Apollonius, I have found references to constructions of all types of circles. For example, not only is it possible to construct a circle ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a circle's circumference be divided into arbitrary number of equal parts using straight edge and compass only?

Can a circle's circumference be divided into arbitrary number of equal parts using straight edge and compass only? In other words, are all the $\frac{2\pi}{k} , k \in \mathbb N^+$ angles ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Prove : for every integer $n\ge1$, if the regular $n^2$-gon is constructible, then $n$ has no odd prime divisors.

For every integer $n\ge1$, if the regular $n^2$-gon is constructible, then $n$ has no odd prime divisors. I know is has something to do with the fact the output Euler's Totient function on $n^2$ ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

To draw a straight line tangent to two given ellipses

How can I draw a a straight line that touches two ellipses? There are, like for two circles, 4 different solutions. I´m not interested in the analytical solution, but in the geometrical drawing, ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

hyperbolic geometry (and circle ) construction problem

Was thinking about hyperbolic geometry, the Poincare Disk Model and Sweikarts constant and combined them all in a construction puzzle that I was unable to solve. My construction puzzle: Given: A ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

geometric construction puzzle is my construction right?

I think I solved my own question of hyperbolic geometry (and circle ) construction problem but am not sure if it is correct, it looks that way but can somebody help me with prooving it? My ...