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What is the Pythagorean Theorem?

Maths | 7-14 yrs | Interactive

Who was Pythagoras?

Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher and is a revered mathematician who lived from 570 to 495 BC. As a mathematician, he is known as the father of numbers, or a pure mathematician.

He is given credit for the Pythagorean Theorem, though the concept has been recorded by the Babylonians.

Pythagorean Theorem Formula

Pythagorean Theorem states that in a right angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.
a2 + b2= c2

What are the Pythagorean Triples?

The Pythagorean Triples are the three integers used in the Pythagorean Theorem, which are a, b and c.

Why is the Pythagorean Theorem important?

  • Pythagorean Theorem is important because you can find out if the triangle is acute, obtuse or a right angle triangle. If the sum of two squared sides is equal to the squared value of the third side, which is the hypotenuse, then, the triangle is a right angle triangle.
  • The Pythagorean Theorem can also help you find missing side lengths of a triangle. You can find the third side length to a right triangle, but also find the missing side lengths to squares and rectangles when the triangles are pushed together. The Pythagoras Theorem can help build rectangles and squares.
  • Builders use the Pythagorean Theorem to help keep right angles and build houses, roofs, stairways etc.
  • Although a very fundamental principle today, the Pythagorean Theorem serves as the basis of the Euclidean distance formula and can be found in almost all aspects of our lives, including calculating the shortest distance between two points, if we are travelling.