# NavList:

## A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

**Centres of a triangle**

**From:**Peter Fogg

**Date:**2010 Dec 26, 20:01 +1100

## [http://www.jimloy.com/geometry/centers.htm]

## The Centers of a Triangle

© Copyright 2000, Jim Loy

**Incenter:** The three angle bisectors of a
triangle meet in one point called the incenter. It is the center of the
incircle, the circle inscribed in the triangle. The area of the triangle is sr,
where s=(a+b+c)/2, and r is the radius of the incircle.

**Circumcenter:** The three perpendicular bisectors
of the sides of a triangle meet in one point called the circumcenter. It is the
center of the circumcircle, the circle circumscribed about the triangle. The
area of the triangle is abc/4R=2R^2sinAsinBsinC, where R is the radius of the
circumcircle, and ^2 means squared. The distance between the incenter and the
circumcenter is sqr(R(R-2r)). If the triangle is obtuse, then the circumcenter
is outside the triangle. If it is a right triangle, then the circumcenter is
the midpoint of the hypotenuse.

**Centroid:** The three medians (the lines drawn from the
vertices to the bisectors of the opposite sides) meet in the centroid or center
of mass (center of gravity). The centroid divides each median in a ratio of
2:1.

**Orthocenter:**The three altitudes of a triangle
meet in one point called the orthocenter. If the triangle is obtuse, the
orthocenter is outside the triangle. If it is a right triangle, the orthocenter
is the vertex which is the right angle.

**Euler line:** The orthocenter O, centroid C, and circumcenter
X all lie on a line, the Euler Line (if the triangle is equilateral, all four
centers are the same point). The incenter does not lie on this line, unless the
triangle is isosceles. The orthocenter is twice as far from the centroid as the
circumcenter is.

**Ceva's Theorem:** Three cevians (a cevian is a
line segment connecting a vertex with the opposite side), AX, BY, CZ, meet in a
point iff (if and only if) (AZ/BZ)(BX/CX)(CY/AY) = 1. The proof is not
particularly easy.

Try this on some of the above. It is particularly simple to use it on the centroid.

**Addendum:**

**Question #1:** Let's find the point P within a
triangle ABC, so that if we draw lines from P to the three vertices, we get
three equal (area) triangles. Is this P perhaps a different center of the
triangle, from those mentioned above? The answer to this and other questions is
at the bottom of this page.

**Gergonne point:** Another center of a triangle is
the Gergone point. The lines connecting the tangent points of the incircle to
the opposite vertices meet in this point.

**Fermat point:** Another center is the Fermat point
(also called the isogonic center or the Rorricelli point). This is the point
which minimizes the sum of the distances from the three vertices. This problem
is called Fermat's problem or Steiner's problem. The three angles at this
point, between the vertices, are all 120 degrees. This point has many practical
uses, as it is often a good idea to minimize distances, so save money.
Telephone lines between three cities, using the minimum amount of wire, will be
three lines which meet at the Fermat point. More points result in connections
between Fermat points. The Fermat point can be constructed by constructing
equilateral triangles on each side of the triangle, and connecting their
farthest vertices with the opposite vertex of the original triangle.

**Congruent isoscelizer point:** Another center is
the "congruent isoscelizer point." An isoscelizer is a line which makes an
angle into an isosceles triangle. Any point in a triangle produces three
isoscelizers. In 1989, P. Yff proved that there is one unique such point, which
makes all three isoscelizers equal in length.

**Lemoine point:** Another center is the Lemoine
point. A line through a vertex of a triangle is isogonal to another such line
if it is the reflection of that line about the angle bisector through that
vertex. A symmedian line is isogonal to the median from that vertex. The three
symmedian lines of a triangle meet in the Lemoine point (also called the
symmedian point or the Grebe point). The isogonal lines of any three lines
through the three vertices which meet in a point (like any of those above) also
meet in a point.

**Spieker center:** The incenter of the median
triangle is the Spieker center. It is the center of mass (center of gravity or
centroid) of the perimeter of the original triangle.