Median of a Triangle in Geometry
In geometry, a median of a triangle is a line segment joining a vertex of the triangle to the midpoint of the opposite side. In other words, it is the line drawn from a corner of a triangle to the midpoint of the side opposite that corner. In this blog post, we will explore what medians are, why they are important, and how to calculate them.
What is a Median?
A median is a line segment joining a vertex of the triangle to the midpoint of the opposite side. In other words, it is the line drawn from a corner of a triangle to the midpoint of the side opposite that corner. Let's look at an example:
In the triangle above, we can see that there are three medians: MN, which joins vertex M to the midpoint of side BC; PQ, which joins vertex P to the midpoint of side AC; and RS, which joins vertex R to the midpoint of side AB.
Why are Medians Important?
Medians are important because they can be used to find the height of a triangle. The height of a triangle is the perpendicular distance from the base (side) to the apex (vertex). The height can also be thought of as the length of the median extended past its point of intersection with the base.
How to Calculate Medians?
There are two ways to calculate medians: using proportions or using algebra. We will briefly explore both methods below.
Proportions Method: To use proportions, you will need to find two similar triangles—triangles that have corresponding angles with equal measures and/or sides with equal proportions. Once you have found two similar triangles, set up a proportion equation and solve for x. This value x will represent half of your desired median. See below for an example:
AC/MN = AM/x AM = AC*x/MN x = AM*MN/AC median MN = x = 6*6/9 = 4
Algebra Method: You can also use algebra to calculate medians. To do this, set up two equations using information given in your question and then solve for x using any method you wish (substitution or elimination). See below for an example:
M is midway between B and C implies MB + MC = 2*AM 6 + MC = 2*4 MC = 8 - 6 MC = 2 therefore median MN = 2 units
The median is an important concept in geometry that has many real-world applications. Medians can be used to find heights and identify similar triangles. Be sure to practice calculating medians using both proportions and algebra so that you are comfortable with both methods!
What is the equation to find the median of a triangle?
To find the median of a triangle, you need to know the lengths of all three sides of the triangle. Once you have that information, you can use the following equation:Median = (side1 + side2 + side3)/2For example, if you have a triangle with sides that are 3, 4, and 5 feet long, you would plug those numbers into the equation like this:Median = (3 + 4 + 5)/2Median = 12/2Median = 6 feet
That’s how you find the median of a triangle!
What do medians do in geometry?
The median of a triangle is a line segment that connects a vertex of the triangle to the midpoint of the opposite side. Medians are used in geometry to help define the shape of a triangle and to calculate properties like perimeter and area.