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### Pythagorean Theorem

```
Date: 5/14/96 at 19:48:32
From: Anonymous
Subject: Pythagorean theorem

What is the Pythagorean theorem?
```

```
Date: 5/16/96 at 21:2:40
From: Doctor Ken
Subject: Re: Pythagorean theorem

Hello!

Here's what the Pythagorean Theorem says:  let's say you have a right
triangle ABC, and the right angle is at C.  Then the sides of the
triangle have certain lengths.  Let's give them some names: call one
leg of the triangle "a," the other leg "b," and the hypotenuse "c,"
like in this picture:

A
|\
| \
|  \             Then Pythagoras says that
|   \            a squared plus b squared  equals c squared.
|    \           Another way to write that is a^2 + b^2 = c^2.
|     \
|b     \c
|       \
|        \
|         \
|          \
|           \
|____________\
C     a       B

For instance, if the lengths of your triangle's sides are 3, 4, and 5,
then see how it works:  3^2 + 4^2 = 5^2
9 + 16  = 25.     It's true!

-Doctor Ken,  The Math Forum
Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
Elementary Geometry
Elementary Triangles and Other Polygons
Middle School Geometry
Middle School Triangles and Other Polygons

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