Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Scaling of triangles occurs when one triangle is a copy of another triangle but has the length of its sized increased by some fixed factor x. In the example below we see two triangles. The second triangle is an enlarged version of the first triangle, and thus has been scaled up.

Image of a triangle showing that the third angle can be composed of subtracting the last two angles

A larger, scaled, image of the previous triangle

An interested property of scaled triangles is that the lengths of interior angles remains the same, no matter how large the triangle gets. You could have a triangle the size of the universe, and it would still have the same angle lengths.

Another interesting aspect is that if we know the length of any two similar sides we can calculate the scaling factor. Thus if the first triangle has a side with length 2 and the second a side with length 6, then we can say the scaling factor is 3. We can use this scaling factor to discern the lengths of the remaining sides of the larger triangle.

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