Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean Theorem is
a theorem that the sum of the squares of the legs of any right

(90 degree) triangle is equal to the square of the hypotenuse. What does
this actually mean?

If you let the legs of the triangle be A and B, then let the side opposite
the right angle in the triangle (called the hypotenuse) be C, then A^{2 }+ B^{2 }=
C^{2}. Observe the drawing.

Let A = 3 inches and let B = 4 inches. Since A^{2 }+ B^{2
}= C^{2}, substituting the given values you would have 3^{2}
+ 4^{2} = C^{2} and 9 + 16 = C^{2}. Solving for C
you would get 25 = C^{2}, _{}and
C = 5 inches. Note: 9
and 16 must be added together before the square root is applied.

**
General Algebra Tips**

The views and
opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of Mary Lou Baker.

The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by Columbia
State Community College.

This page was
edited on
15-Nov-2007