A community for students.
Here's the question you clicked on:
 0 viewing
AravindG
 3 years ago
what is the maximum number of tangents to a triangle?
AravindG
 3 years ago
what is the maximum number of tangents to a triangle?

This Question is Closed

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0@TuringTest , @UnkleRhaukus , @phi , @saifoo.khan , @ash2326

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3dw:1346864028370:dwtry drawing as many different tangents on this figure as you can

henpen
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0What point could you draw to satisfy that?

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0I count a whole bunch!

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0@UnkleRhaukus isnt it 3?

phi
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Can't you draw an infinite number through each vertex?

UnkleRhaukus
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.1i count three infinite lines

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3tangents drawn from the vertices would have no direction the only question I see is if you want to talk about the number of \(different\) tangents, which I do figure to be 3

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3you could draw infinite tangents on any line segment technically, but that seems arbitrary

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0my doubt is why dont we count the tangent at the 3 vertices?

UnkleRhaukus
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.1dw:1346864223266:dw

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3which way would the tangents at the vertices point?

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Do we have to consider that the slope of a tangent at a sharp point is undefined?

UnkleRhaukus
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.1a triangle is made with three tangents

phi
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0OK, by definition a tangent results from a limiting process.... so they do not exist at a vertex... (per wikipedia)

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3@CliffSedge that is basically how I figured it

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0If it's tangent to the triangle, then they cannot coincide with the sides of the triangle.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Doesn't 'tangent' mean touch at only a single point?

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0@CliffSedge yes , but the tangent to a straight line is the straight line itself!!!

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0tangent is nothing but a flat approximation of curve!!

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0hmmm... looks like there can be several definitions depending on if you're using geometry, calculus, or an even more generalized usage.

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0i see what i need to knw is this :dw:1346864494173:dw can we draw tangent at point A?

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3I was thinking of it as like a line graphdw:1346864498741:dwthere is only one unique equation of the tangent line to this graph\[y=mx+b\implies y'=m\]so \(y'=m\) is the only tangent line in the figure of the triangle you get the same effect for each line segment, of which there are three

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Here's my reasoning: 1. tangent is defined as touching at only a single point. 2. in calculus, the slope of *the* tangent line at a sharp point is undefined because there is no single/unique tangent line that can be drawn there. Therefore: infinite tangent lines are possible.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0@Turing but that's not the tangent line, that is the slope of the tangent line which is the line itself. You can't draw a line tangent to another line because it would touch at more than one point.

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3More precisely, a straight line is said to be a tangent of a curve y = f(x) at a point x = c on the curve if the line passes through the point (c, f(c)) on the curve and has slope f'(c) where f' is the derivative of f. Wikipedia that does not require the line to only touch the graph at a single point, the slope just has to match that of the graph at that point

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0i asked this qn in my lecture and answered it as 3 then one of the srtudents asked if its 6 as in fig: dw:1346864689277:dw i couldnt justify it was 3

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0i told the student i will answer it tmrw dats y i asked

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3considerdw:1346864772930:dwthe tangent at point P intersects point Q on the graph, but that does not mean the line is not tangent to the graph at P

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0agree @TuringTest can u answer my query above?

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Yes, but the tangent doesn't cross at P. It's free to cross elsewhere. see: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tangent def'n. 1.

siddhantsharan
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Is the slope of the tangent the always the same thing as the derivative?

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0I'm still not convinced that there are fewer than infinite tangent lines that can be drawn to that triangle.dw:1346864875620:dw

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3That definition seems to hold for the 3 tangents of the triangle; they lines do not cross the sides again there is no defined slope at the vertices, so you can't do that @CliffSedge

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0I don't think the slope of the tangent matters here, since we're not looking for a single unique tangent with a defined slope, just "how many lines?"

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0The person who gave me this qn for presenting in lecture was @UnkleRhaukus and he has vanished :O

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3there can only be one unique tangent at each point, the idea that you can draw multiple tangents from each vertex shows that there is no tangent

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3unkle said that a triangle was composed of three tangents and therefor, I think, meant to imply that there are three tangents

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0thats a nic reasoning @TuringTest

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Thinking of this in terms of first derivatives is overthinking it, in my opinion. Ask Euclid or Archimedes what they think of this question. It's fundamentally geometrical.

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0so can i tell the student that slope is not defined at sharp points ?

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0as a reason for no:of tangent=3 and not 6?

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3I would like to see some reference that contradicts that, otherwise I would argue along the calculus approach.

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0@TuringTest answer me pls

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3I say "yes" there are 3, but there is some debate, and I'm not perfect...

siddhantsharan
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0http://mathdl.maa.org/images/upload_library/22/Polya/07468342.di020721.02p01112.pdf

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0is see but i kthink u r right at this ,the calculus approach is best at this qn

siddhantsharan
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0A really good reference I would say that clarifies that tangents are not defined at edges.

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0thanks a lot evryone for sharing their ideas :")

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3nice link @siddhantsharan :)

phi
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Per wolfram's definition (see the last paragraph) http://www.wolframalpha.com/input/?i=tangent+definition&x=0&y=0 a tangent line touches a curve at a single point.... so one could argue that polygons do not have tangents.

siddhantsharan
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Although they have not defined it precisely there. The precise definition is the calculus one.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Can anyone provide a reason why the slopes of the tangents need to be defined? If the claim is that tangents are not defined (i.e. are not unique) at sharp points, then doesn't that mean that the number of lines is infinite?

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0@siddhantsharan that was really useful thx

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3page 136 of the link that @siddhantsharan gives a nice noncalculus way of circumventing the definition, but it still leads to the same conclusions; one tangent line per point, and it's okay to draw a tangent to a line segment

AravindG
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0the idea is derivative does not exist at sharp points

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Why does the existence of the derivative matter? I can draw a triangle, and I can draw numerous tangents at each vertex. I'm looking right at it, so what's the problem?

phi
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0You can define tangent any way you like. The question is, what is the recognized mathematical definition? Does it exclude straight lines? or is it only defined for "curves"

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0This is the definition I'm using: (geometry) A straight line touching a curve at a single point without crossing it there. We can all agree that straight lines count as curves, right?

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0There exists a triangle, and I may, in principle at least, draw as many tangents to its vertices as I wish. QED. I work with a bunch of math tutors/teachers. I'll bring this up with them this afternoon.

UnkleRhaukus
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.1The slopes of the tangents need to be defined because the tangent Is the slope at that Point

siddhantsharan
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0@CliffSedge The definition you are using is not the mathematical one.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Geometry is not mathematics?

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Triangles are geometrical, lines are geometrical; how many hairs are we going to split here?

siddhantsharan
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0That is the definition that is implied from the calculus one and is observed to be helpful in many cases. However it is one DERIEVED from the calculus one.

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3@CliffSedge the definition you said you are working with would imply that this is not a tangentdw:1346866463441:dwof course the term "there" is not welldefined

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0So why is it not useful here? I see a triangle. I can draw tangent lines to its vertices. Why do I need to have a welldefined slope for each one? That was not a condition set forth in the problem statement.

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3that definition makes no statement about sharp points, so it doesn't seem to help us here

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0False. It touches at P, but does not cross at P.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Why would the definition need to make a statement about sharp points? Why not generalize? Why not employ Occam's Razor and not introduce more assumptions than are necessary?

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3Okay, fair enough, so you want to say that a sharp curve can have multiple tangents is the discrepancy. Occam's Razor is all well and good, unless there is a more formal definition such that we don't have to employ it.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0I know mathematics is meant to be precise, but it is also about simplifying problems so they may be solved more easily, not more difficultly.

UnkleRhaukus
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.1the vertex is only a single point it can only have one tangent

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3In your attempt to simplify this problem we get infinite tangent lines at a sharp point, or any geometric figure with sharp points. I hardly find that simple, but I see what you are saying.

UnkleRhaukus
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.1hmm now im not sure if it is one or zero

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Does the formal definition state that if their is no single defined/unique slope for a tangent line then the tangent line can't exist? If that is true, then why is it so easy for me to draw one on paper? I saw above that there exists a definition that states that there may exist only a single tangent line at any point, but if that is true then the triangle has zero tangent lines because each vertex has two lines touching it.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0What I meant by simple is that if you gave this problem to a child and gave a definition of 'tangent line' that a child could understand, then you'd get many lines drawn with no fuss over formal definitions.

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3\[y=x\]has tangents \(y=x,y=x\) though both cross the vertex, so I don't think it matters that the tangents intersect on the graph

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0It's not that the tangents intersect each other, it's that there is more than one tangent at a single point. If y=x can have two tangents, why can't any point have more than one tangent? By one definition (preferred) I say infinite lines, but another, it is zero (and that's not so bad  less work the pencil, eh?

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3my point was that they intersect \(on\) the graph, at (0,0)

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3at (0,0) we have to accept that there are either infinite slopes or none, and mathematics when it ever discusses the matter seems to say none.

CliffSedge
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0I'll concede that for now. Anyway, I'm in a rush to get to work, so I'll have to leave this for later. Interesting stuff, gets the mind all geared up for logical thinking!

TuringTest
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.3indeed, let me know if you find out something :)

UnkleRhaukus
 3 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.1its a good question
Ask your own question
Sign UpFind more explanations on OpenStudy
Your question is ready. Sign up for free to start getting answers.
spraguer
(Moderator)
5
→ View Detailed Profile
is replying to Can someone tell me what button the professor is hitting...
23
 Teamwork 19 Teammate
 Problem Solving 19 Hero
 Engagement 19 Mad Hatter
 You have blocked this person.
 ✔ You're a fan Checking fan status...
Thanks for being so helpful in mathematics. If you are getting quality help, make sure you spread the word about OpenStudy.