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A Tour around the

Geometry of the
Cyclic Quadrilateral
School of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Faculty of Education
University of KwaZulu Natal
Durban
12 April 2013
Dr Chris Pritchard
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Alternate angles have equal sums
Interior angle bisectors of any quadrilateral
meet at the vertices of a cyclic quadrilateral
( )
360
360 180
180
EHG GFE a b c d Z + Z = + + +
=
=
Exterior angle
bisectors of an
arbitrary quadrilateral
meet at the vertices of
a cyclic quadrilateral
(and at the centres of
the escribed circles)
Proof
Perpendicular Bisectors
Perpendicular bisectors
are concurrent at the
circumcentre and divide
the cyclic quad into four
smaller cyclic quads
The circumcentres of
the smaller cyclic
quads form the vertices
of another cyclic quad
This central cyclic quad
is similar to the original.
In fact, STUV is an
enlargement of ABCD
(factor , centre O)
Four Beer Mats Theorem
Four beer mats are
placed so that their
circumferences all
pass through a
particular point, P.
A dinner plate can
be positioned to fit
over the beer mats
exactly.

Four Beer Mats Theorem
Draw in four
equal diameters
to prove it!

Five Beer Mats Theorem
Four beer mats are
placed so that their
circumferences all
pass through a
particular point, P.
Common tangents
are drawn pairwise to
produce another
quadrilateral. An even
larger dinner plate
can be positioned
over the quadrilateral
exactly.

Revealing the Fifth Beer Mat
The fifth beer
mat has the
centres of the
first four on its
circumference.
Miquels Six
Circle Theorem
ABCD is a cyclic quadrilateral.
Four circles, with centres outside
the quadrilateral, are drawn so
that the sides of the quadrilateral
are chords.
The second set of circle intersections,
E ,F, G, H form the vertices of
another cyclic quadrilateral.
F
E
G
H
C
D
A
B
Pairwise Incentres of a Cyclic Quadrilateral
ABCD is divided into four triangles, either side of a diagonal, twice.
Incircles are drawn.
The incentres form the vertices of a rectangle, JKLM.
Pairwise Incentres of a Cyclic Kite
Now stir in some
bilateral symmetry
and the rectangle
becomes a square.
And a square has
equal diagonals.
Pairs of Radii
Pairs of radii have
equal sum.
This is still true
if the symmetry
is dropped, i.e.
for the general
cyclic quad.
A Sangaku Cyclic Polygon Theorem (c. 1800)
F
F F
F
A
B
D
C
E
A
B
D
C
E
A
B
D
C
E
A
B
D
C
E
Divide a cyclic
polygon into
triangles arbitrarily.

The incircle radii
have the same total
length, regardless
of the configuration
chosen.
. . . ACBD ABCD BCDA = +
If is any point on
the minor arc ,
then
B
ABC
BD AB CB = +
Ptolemys Theorem
Van Schootens Theorem
(special case of Ptolemys Theorem
when ACD is equilateral)
Scallop Shell Theorems
PE +PF =PA +PB +PC +PD PA +PD =PB +PC +PE
E B
C
F
D
D
C
B
A
E
A
P
P
PB +PC +PE +PG =PA +PD +PF =13.11
m PA = 3.29 cm
m PG = 5.07 cm
m PF = 5.84 cm
m PE = 5.45 cm
m PD = 3.98 cm
m PC = 1.72 cm
m PB = 0.87 cm
C
B
A G
F
E
D
P
PE +PF =PA +PB +PC +PD PA +PD =PB +PC +PE
E B
C
F
D
D
C
B
A
E
A
P
P
Length of Diagonal of Regular
Pentagon of Unit Side
2
.1 1.1 a a = +
2
1 a a = +
2
1 0 a a =
1.618 a | = =


.
Diagonal of Regular Heptagon of Unit Side


.
Applying Ptolemys Theorem to
RVWX yields
ab b a = +
.
2
1 a b = +
3 2
Eliminate to give 2 1 0. b a a a + =
Applying Ptolemys Theorem to
RTWX yields
( )
3 2
2 1 f a a a a = +
Need the root which is greater than 1.
Solution: 1.802, 2.247. a b = =
Addition Formula for Sine:
Defining the Lengths of the Sides
Consider a circle with
unit diameter; then
sin o
cos |
sin |
cos o
sin (o +|)
o
|
o +|
W
Z
O
Y
X
sin , sin ,
cos , cos ,
XY YZ
WX WZ
o |
o |
= =
= =
The full version of the Sine
Rule for triangle WXZ is that:

sin
=

sin
=

sin
= 2 = 1 if =
1
2

w = sinW
XZ = sin ( + )
Addition Formula for Sine:
Applying Ptolemys Theorem
By Ptolemys Theorem
( )
( )
. . .
1.sin sin cos cos sin
sin sin cos cos sin
WY XZ XY WZ WX YZ
o | o | o |
o | o | o |
= +
+ = +
+ = +
sin o
cos |
sin |
cos o
sin (o +|)
o
|
o +|
W
Z
O
Y
X
( )
cos o |
( )
sin o |
Z'
o
o - |
|
cos |
sin o
sin |
sin (o -|)
cos o
W
O
Y
X
o
90 - |
sin (90 - o)
sin (90 - |)
sin |
sin o
sin (90 - (o - |))
90 - o
|
90 - (o - |)
W
Z
O
Y
X
90 - (o + |)
90 - o
90 - |
Z'
o
|
sin (90 - |)
sin (90 - o)
sin |
sin (90 - (o -|))
sin o
W
O
Y
X
Equivalent
Diagrams for other
Addition Laws
( )
cos o | +
Double Angle Formulas
o
90 - o
o
X'
X'
90 - 2o
sin o
sin (90 - o)
sin o
sin o
sin o
cos o
cos o
sin 2o
2o
o
W W
O O
Y
X
Y
X
( )
o | =
1.sin2 sin cos cos sin o o o o o = +
Let WY = 1
( ) ( )
2 2
2 2
2 2
sin 90 1.sin 90 2 sin
cos cos 2 sin
cos 2 cos sin
o o o
o o o
o o o
= +
= +
=
o
90 - o
o
X'
X'
90 - 2o
sin o
sin (90 - o)
sin o
sin o
sin o
cos o
cos o
sin 2o
2o
o
W W
O O
Y
X
Y
X
Brahmagupta
(1) If the elements of two Pythagorean triples (k, l, m) and (K, L, M) are
combined to form products kM, mL, lM and mK representing the
lengths of the sides of a quadrilateral, then the quadrilateral is cyclic.
( )( )( )( )
A s a s b s c s d =

(2) If the sides of a cyclic quadrilateral have lengths a, b, c, d and semi-
perimeter s, then its area is given by:
(3) The lengths of the diagonals of a cyclic quadrilateral are given by:
( )( )
( )( )
.
ad bc ac bd
x
ab cd
ab cd ac bd
y
ad bc
+ +
=
+
+ +
=
+
( )( )
( )( )
.
ad bc ac bd
x
ab cd
ab cd ac bd
y
ad bc
+ +
=
+
+ +
=
+
Brahmaguptas Trapezium
If the elements of two Pythagorean
triples (k, l, m) and (K, L, M) are
combined to form products kM, mL, lM
and mK representing the lengths of the
sides of a quadrilateral, then the
quadrilateral is cyclic.


(3, 4, 5) and (8, 15, 17) give a (40, 51, 68, 75) cyclic quadrilateral.
Area and Diagonals of the
(40,51,69,75) Cyclic Quad
( )( )( )( )
3234 A s a s b s c s d = =
( )( )
84
ad bc ac bd
x
ab cd
+ +
= =
+
( )( )
77
ab cd ac bd
y
ad bc
+ +
= =
+
y
77
84
x
42
1
/2
R
68
40
51
75
d
c
a
b
O
( )( )( )
1
2
42
4
ab cd ac bd ad bc
R
A
+ + +
= =
and by a formula of Paramesvara:
Brahmaguptas Theorem and Corollary
For a cyclic quadrilateral with
perpendicular diagonals meeting
at P (known as the anticentre), lines
drawn perpendicular to the four sides
through P bisect the opposite sides.
P
T
M
B
D
A
C
34
20
25
1
/2
37
1
/2
68
40
51
75
O
and the distance of the
circumcentre from each side is half
the length of the opposite side
References 1
Alexander Bogomolnys Cut-the-knot website
Antonio Gutierrez website, Geometry Step by Step from the
Land of the Incas
Eric Weissteins Wolfram MathWorld
H S M Coxeter & S L Greitzer, Geometry Revisited, MAA,
1967.
Honsberger, R. More Mathematical Morsels. Washington, DC:
MAA (1991), 36-37; also Episodes in Nineteenth and
Twentieth Century Euclidean Geometry. Washington, DC:
MAA (1995), 35-40.
Hidetoshi Fukagawa & Daniel Pedoe, Japanese Temple
Geometry Problems, Winnipeg: Charles Babbage Research
Foundation, 1989.
Roger A Johnson, Modern Geometry: An Elementary Treatise
on the Geometry of the Triangle and the Circle. Boston, MA:
Houghton Mifflin, 1929; also, Advanced Euclidean Geometry,
New York: Dover, 1960.
Eli Maor, Trigonometric Delights, Princeton University Press,
1998.

References 2
Michael de Villiers
Some Adventures in Euclidean
Geometry (2009)
Rethinking Proof with Geometers
Sketchpad, Key Curriculum
Press, (2003)

Chris Pritchard (ed.)
The Changing Shape of Geometry,
Cambridge University Press / MAA (2003)
A Tour around the
Geometry of the
Cyclic Quadrilateral
School of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education
Faculty of Education
University of KwaZulu Natal
Durban
12 April 2013
Dr Chris Pritchard
chrispritchard2@aol.com

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