# How to Know If a Triangle Is a Right Triangle

Triangles are one of the most basic shapes in geometry, and they come in all different sizes and angles. One of the most common types of triangles is the right triangle, which has one angle that measures 90 degrees. In this article, we will explore how to identify a right triangle and the properties that make it unique.

## Understanding the Pythagorean Theorem

To determine if a triangle is a right triangle, we need to understand the Pythagorean theorem. This theorem states that the sum of the squares of the two shorter sides of a right triangle is equal to the square of the longest side, also known as the hypotenuse. This theorem can be written as a formula:

a^2 + b^2 = c^2

where a and b are the lengths of the two shorter sides, and c is the length of the hypotenuse. If this formula holds true for the given triangle, then we know it is a right triangle.

## Using the Pythagorean Theorem to Identify a Right Triangle

To use the Pythagorean theorem to identify a right triangle, we need to know the lengths of at least two sides of the triangle. Once we have these values, we can plug them into the formula and see if it holds true.

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For example, let’s say we have a triangle with sides of length 3, 4, and 5. We can plug these values into the Pythagorean theorem formula:

3^2 + 4^2 = 5^2

Simplifying this equation, we get:

9 + 16 = 25

This equation holds true, so we know that the triangle with sides of length 3, 4, and 5 is a right triangle.

## Identifying a Right Triangle Without the Pythagorean Theorem

In some cases, we may not know the lengths of any of the sides of a triangle, or we may not be able to use the Pythagorean theorem to determine if it is a right triangle. In these cases, we can still look for some properties that are unique to right triangles.

One property of right triangles is that the two shorter sides are perpendicular to each other, meaning they form a 90-degree angle. This is also true for the longer side or hypotenuse, which is opposite the right angle.

Another property of right triangles is that they follow the 3-4-5 rule. This means that if the lengths of two sides of a triangle are in the ratio of 3:4, then the third side will be 5. For example, a triangle with sides of length 6, 8, and 10 is a right triangle because 6 and 8 are in the ratio of 3:4, and the third side is 10.

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## Conclusion

In conclusion, identifying a right triangle requires an understanding of the Pythagorean theorem and the properties unique to right triangles. By using the Pythagorean theorem, we can determine if a triangle is a right triangle by plugging in the lengths of two sides and seeing if the formula holds true. If we do not know the lengths of the sides, we can still look for properties such as perpendicular sides or the 3-4-5 rule. By understanding these concepts, we can confidently identify right triangles and their unique properties in any given situation.