# What will be the radius of the common circle formed by intersection of two spheres of radii $r_1$ and $r_2$ that cut orthogonally.

Two spheres of radii $r_1$ and $r_2$ intersect each other orthogonally. Prove that the circle formed by the intersection of the two spheres has a radius $$\frac{r_1 r_2}{\sqrt{r_1^{2} + r_2^{2}}}.$$

HINT.

See below a section of the spheres, passing through their centers $A$ and $B$. They intersect each other orthogonally if radii $AC$ and $BC$ are perpendicular.

It follows that $ABC$ is a right triangle with legs $r_1$ and $r_2$. And its altitude $CH$ is the radius of the intersection circle. • How do we show that CH is perpendicular to AB? Thanks. – R_D May 27 '18 at 14:42
• @R_D If $D$ is the other intersection, then triangles $ABC$ and $ABD$ are congruent. It follows that $\angle CBH=\angle DBH$: triangles $BCH$ and $BDH$ are then also congruent. Hence $\angle BHC=\angle BHD$. – Intelligenti pauca May 27 '18 at 15:35
• I referred to your sketch in my answer. Hope OK. Thanks – Narasimham Sep 15 '19 at 6:54

From Aretino's sketch considering similar right triangles

$$CH= h ;\,CA= r_1;\,CB= r_2;\, \angle ACH= \angle HBC= \theta \,$$

$$\cos \theta = \frac{h}{r_1} ;\,\sin \theta=\frac{h}{r_2} ;$$

The result is arrived at by eliminating $$\theta.$$