What if you were given a circle with two chords that intersect each other? How could you use the length of some of the segments formed by their intersection to determine the lengths of the unknown segments? After completing this Concept, you'll be able to use the Intersecting Chords Theorem to solve problems like this one.
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Guidance
When we have two chords that intersect inside a circle, as shown below, the two triangles that result are similar.
This makes the corresponding sides in each triangle proportional and leads to a relationship between the segments of the chords, as stated in the Intersecting Chords Theorem.
Intersecting Chords Theorem: If two chords intersect inside a circle so that one is divided into segments of length and and the other into segments of length and then .
Example A
Find in each diagram below.
a)
b)
Use the formula from the Intersecting Chords Theorem.
a)
b)
Example B
Solve for .
a)
b)
Use the Intersecting Chords Theorem.
a)
b)
Example C
Ishmael found a broken piece of a CD in his car. He places a ruler across two points on the rim, and the length of the chord is 9.5 cm. The distance from the midpoint of this chord to the nearest point on the rim is 1.75 cm. Find the diameter of the CD.
Think of this as two chords intersecting each other. If we were to extend the 1.75 cm segment, it would be a diameter. So, if we find in the diagram below and add it to 1.75 cm, we would find the diameter.
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Guided Practice
Find in each diagram below. Simplify any radicals.
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2.
3.
Answers
For all problems, use the Intersecting Chords Theorem.
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Explore More
Fill in the blanks for each problem below and then solve for the missing segment.
Find in each diagram below. Simplify any radicals.
Find the value of .
- Suzie found a piece of a broken plate. She places a ruler across two points on the rim, and the length of the chord is 6 inches. The distance from the midpoint of this chord to the nearest point on the rim is 1 inch. Find the diameter of the plate.
- Fill in the blanks of the proof of the Intersecting Chords Theorem.
Given : Intersecting chords and .
Prove :
Statement | Reason |
---|---|
1. Intersecting chords and with segments and . | 1. |
2. | 2. Congruent Inscribed Angles Theorem |
3. | 3. |
4. | 4. Corresponding parts of similar triangles are proportional |
5. | 5. |