Monday, December 9, 2013

Looking for Pythagorean pair-doubles

In teaching a geometry course, I find that I frequently need a Pythagorean triple. A Pythagorean triple, of course, is three whole numbers that satisfy the Pythagorean theorem to make a right triangle: 3, 4, 5, or 7, 40, 41.

But even more frequently, I find I need a Pythagorean pair-double: two sets of whole number-length legs with the same hypotenuse. For example, 5, 5 and 1, 7 are a pair-double, since both have the same hypotenuse. In this way, I can make an isosceles triangle that requires a little work to prove it isosceles.

Here's the first ten pair-doubles.

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