Departmental Papers (ESE)

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Abstract

An elementary geometric construction, known as Napoleon’s theorem, produces an equilateral triangle, obtained from equilateral triangles erected on the sides of any initial triangle: The centers of the three equilateral triangles erected on the sides of the arbitrarily given original triangle, all outward or all inward, are the vertices of the new equilateral triangle. In this note, we observe that two Napoleon iterations yield triangles with useful optimality properties. Two inner transformations result in a (degenerate) triangle, whose vertices coincide at the original centroid. Two outer transformations yield an equilateral triangle, whose vertices are closest to the original in the sense of minimizing the sum of the three squared distances.

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Sponsor Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by AFOSR under the CHASE MURI FA9550–10–1−0567.

Document Type

Journal Article

Subject Area

GRASP, Kodlab

Date of this Version

3-9-2016

Publication Source

Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications

Volume

170

Issue

1

Start Page

97

Last Page

106

DOI

10.1007/s10957-016-0911-4

Keywords

Napoleon triangle, Optimality, Torricelli configuration, Fermat problem, Torricelli point

Bib Tex

@Article{arslan_kod_JOTA2016, Title = {On the Optimality of Napoleon Triangles}, Author = {Omur Arslan and Daniel E. Koditschek}, Journal = {Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications}, Year = {2016}, Volume = {170}, Number = {1}, Pages = {97-106}, Doi = {10.1007/s10957-016-0911-4} }

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Date Posted: 26 October 2016

This document has been peer reviewed.