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# 30-60-90 Right Triangles

## Hypotenuse equals twice the smallest leg, while the larger leg is sqrt(3) times the smallest.

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30-60-90 Right Triangles

What if you were given a 30-60-90 right triangle and the length of one of its side? How could you figure out the lengths of its other sides? After completing this Concept, you'll be able to use the 30-60-90 Theorem to solve problems like this one.

### Watch This

CK-12 Foundation: Special Right Triangle: 30-60-90

Watch the first half of this video.

James Sousa: Trigonometric Function Values of Special Angles

Now watch the first half of this video.

James Sousa: Solving Special Right Triangles

### Guidance

One of the two special right triangles is called a 30-60-90 triangle, after its three angles.

30-60-90 Theorem: If a triangle has angle measures 30,60\begin{align*}30^\circ, 60^\circ\end{align*} and 90\begin{align*}90^\circ\end{align*}, then the sides are in the ratio x:x3:2x\begin{align*}x:x \sqrt{3}:2x\end{align*}.

The shorter leg is always x\begin{align*}x\end{align*}, the longer leg is always x3\begin{align*}x \sqrt{3}\end{align*}, and the hypotenuse is always 2x\begin{align*}2x\end{align*}. If you ever forget these theorems, you can still use the Pythagorean Theorem.

#### Example A

Find the length of the missing side.

We are given the shorter leg. If x=5\begin{align*}x=5\end{align*}, then the longer leg, b=53\begin{align*}b=5 \sqrt{3}\end{align*}, and the hypotenuse, c=2(5)=10\begin{align*}c=2(5)=10\end{align*}.

#### Example B

Find the length of the missing side.

We are given the hypotenuse. 2x=20\begin{align*}2x=20\end{align*}, so the shorter leg, f=202=10\begin{align*}f = \frac{20}{2} = 10\end{align*}, and the longer leg, g=103\begin{align*}g=10 \sqrt{3}\end{align*}.

#### Example C

A rectangle has sides 4 and 43\begin{align*}4 \sqrt{3}\end{align*}. What is the length of the diagonal?

If you are not given a picture, draw one.

The two lengths are x,x3\begin{align*}x, x \sqrt{3}\end{align*}, so the diagonal would be 2x\begin{align*}2x\end{align*}, or 2(4)=8\begin{align*}2(4) = 8\end{align*}.

If you did not recognize this is a 30-60-90 triangle, you can use the Pythagorean Theorem too.

42+(43)216+48d=d2=d2=64=8

CK-12 Foundation: Special Right Triangle: 30-60-90

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### Guided Practice

Find the value of x\begin{align*}x\end{align*} and y\begin{align*}y\end{align*}.

1.

2.

3. x\begin{align*}x\end{align*} is the hypotenuse of a 30-60-90 triangle and y\begin{align*}y\end{align*} is the longer leg of the same triangle. The shorter leg has a length of 6\begin{align*}6\end{align*}.

1. We are given the longer leg.

x3=12x=12333=1233=43The hypotenuse isy=2(43)=83

2. We are given the hypotenuse.

2x=16x=8The longer leg isy=83=83

3. We are given the shorter leg.

### Explore More

1. In a 30-60-90 triangle, if the shorter leg is 5, then the longer leg is __________ and the hypotenuse is ___________.
2. In a 30-60-90 triangle, if the shorter leg is \begin{align*}x\end{align*}, then the longer leg is __________ and the hypotenuse is ___________.
3. A rectangle has sides of length 6 and \begin{align*}6 \sqrt{3}\end{align*}. What is the length of the diagonal?
4. Two (opposite) sides of a rectangle are 10 and the diagonal is 20. What is the length of the other two sides?

For questions 5-12, find the lengths of the missing sides. Simplify all radicals.

### Answers for Explore More Problems

To view the Explore More answers, open this PDF file and look for section 8.6.

### Vocabulary Language: English

30-60-90 Theorem

30-60-90 Theorem

If a triangle has angle measures of 30, 60, and 90 degrees, then the sides are in the ratio x : x $\sqrt{3}$ : 2x
30-60-90 Triangle

30-60-90 Triangle

A 30-60-90 triangle is a special right triangle with angles of $30^\circ$, $60^\circ$, and $90^\circ$.
Hypotenuse

Hypotenuse

The hypotenuse of a right triangle is the longest side of the right triangle. It is across from the right angle.
Legs of a Right Triangle

Legs of a Right Triangle

The legs of a right triangle are the two shorter sides of the right triangle. Legs are adjacent to the right angle.
Pythagorean Theorem

Pythagorean Theorem

The Pythagorean Theorem is a mathematical relationship between the sides of a right triangle, given by $a^2 + b^2 = c^2$, where $a$ and $b$ are legs of the triangle and $c$ is the hypotenuse of the triangle.
The $\sqrt{}$, or square root, sign.