Lesson 9Side Length Quotients in Similar Triangles
Let’s find missing side lengths in triangles.
Learning Targets:
 I can decide if two triangles are similar by looking at quotients of lengths of corresponding sides.
 I can find missing side lengths in a pair of similar triangles using quotients of side lengths.
9.1 Twothreefour and Fourfivesix
Triangle has side lengths 2, 3, and 4. Triangle has side lengths 4, 5, and 6. Is Triangle similar to Triangle ?
9.2 Quotients of Sides Within Similar Triangles
Your teacher will assign you one of the three columns in the second table.
Triangle is similar to triangles , , and . The scale factors for the dilations that show triangle is similar to each triangle are in the table.
triangle  scale factor  length of short side  length of medium side  length of long side 

1  4  5  7  
2  
3  
triangle  (long side) (short side)  (long side) (medium side)  (medium side) (short side) 

or  
 Find the side lengths of triangles , , and . Record them in the first table.

For all four triangles, find the quotient of the triangle side lengths assigned to you and record them in the second table. What do you notice about the quotients?
 Compare your results with your partner’s and complete your table.
Are you ready for more?
Triangles and are similar. Explain why .
9.3 Using Side Quotients to Find Side Lengths of Similar Triangles
Triangles , , and are all similar. The side lengths of the triangles all have the same units. Find the unknown side lengths.
Lesson 9 Summary
If two polygons are similar, then the side lengths in one polygon are multiplied by the same scale factor to give the corresponding side lengths in the other polygon. For these triangles the scale factor is 2:
Here is a table that shows relationships between the short and medium length sides of the small and large triangle.
small triangle  large triangle  

medium side  4  8 
short side  3  6 
(medium side) (short side) 
The lengths of the medium side and the short side are in a ratio of . This means that the medium side in each triangle is as long as the short side.
We can use these facts to calculate missing lengths in similar polygons. For example, triangles and shown here are similar. Let's find the length of segment .
In triangle , side is twice as long as side , so this must be true for any triangle that is similar to triangle . Since is 1.2 units long and , the length of side is 2.4 units.
Lesson 9 Practice Problems

These two triangles are similar.
What are and ? Note: the two figures are not drawn to scale.

Here is triangle . Triangle is similar to with scale factor .
 Draw what triangle might look like.

How do the angle measures of triangle compare to triangle ? Explain how you know.

What are the side lengths of triangle ?
 For triangle , calculate (long side) (medium side), and compare to triangle .

The two triangles shown are similar. Find the value of .

The diagram shows two nested triangles that share a vertex. Find a center and a scale factor for a dilation that would move the larger triangle to the smaller triangle.