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In a right **triangle**, the hypotenuse is the side of the triangle which is opposite the right **angle**. It is also the longest side of the triangle. The other two sides are sometimes called the "legs" of the right triangle. The Greek word *hupoteinousa*, from which we derive "hypotenuse," means, roughly, a stretched cord, invoking the image of a rope stretched tightly between two stakes in the ground. The hypotenuse plays an essential role in what is perhaps the most famous of all mathematical theorems, the **Pythagorean Theorem**. This **theorem**, attributed to the Greek philosopher and mathematician, **Pythagoras** (c 569-c 475 BC), states that if the legs of a right triangle are denoted by a and b and the hypotenuse by c, then c^{2}=a^{2}+b^{2}, or, in English, the **square** of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. The hypotenuse...

This section contains 810 words(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page) |