Concept

# Special right triangle

Summary
A special right triangle is a right triangle with some regular feature that makes calculations on the triangle easier, or for which simple formulas exist. For example, a right triangle may have angles that form simple relationships, such as 45°–45°–90°. This is called an "angle-based" right triangle. A "side-based" right triangle is one in which the lengths of the sides form ratios of whole numbers, such as 3 : 4 : 5, or of other special numbers such as the golden ratio. Knowing the relationships of the angles or ratios of sides of these special right triangles allows one to quickly calculate various lengths in geometric problems without resorting to more advanced methods. Angle-based special right triangles are specified by the relationships of the angles of which the triangle is composed. The angles of these triangles are such that the larger (right) angle, which is 90 degrees or pi/2 radians, is equal to the sum of the other two angles. The side lengths are generally deduced from the basis of the unit circle or other geometric methods. This approach may be used to rapidly reproduce the values of trigonometric functions for the angles 30°, 45°, and 60°. Special triangles are used to aid in calculating common trigonometric functions, as below: The 45°–45°–90° triangle, the 30°–60°–90° triangle, and the equilateral/equiangular (60°–60°–60°) triangle are the three Möbius triangles in the plane, meaning that they tessellate the plane via reflections in their sides; see Triangle group. In plane geometry, constructing the diagonal of a square results in a triangle whose three angles are in the ratio 1 : 1 : 2, adding up to 180° or pi radians. Hence, the angles respectively measure 45° (pi/4), 45° (pi/4), and 90° (pi/2). The sides in this triangle are in the ratio 1 : 1 : , which follows immediately from the Pythagorean theorem. Of all right triangles, the 45° - 45° - 90° degree triangle has the smallest ratio of the hypotenuse to the sum of the legs, namely /2. and the greatest ratio of the altitude from the hypotenuse to the sum of the legs, namely /4.