Concept# Altitude (triangle)

Summary

In geometry, an altitude of a triangle is a line segment through a vertex and perpendicular to a line containing the the side opposite the vertex. This line containing the opposite side is called the extended base of the altitude. The intersection of the extended base and the altitude is called the foot of the altitude. The length of the altitude, often simply called "the altitude", is the distance between the extended base and the vertex. The process of drawing the altitude from the vertex to the foot is known as dropping the altitude at that vertex. It is a special case of orthogonal projection.
Altitudes can be used in the computation of the area of a triangle: one-half of the product of an altitude's length and its base's length equals the triangle's area. Thus, the longest altitude is perpendicular to the shortest side of the triangle. The altitudes are also related to the sides of the triangle through the trigonometric functions.
In an isosceles triangle (a triangle with tw

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