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Projective Geometry

Alexander Remorov

alexanderrem@gmail.com

Harmonic Division

Given four collinear points A, B, C, D, we define their cross-ratio as:

CA DA

(A, B; C, D) = : (1)

CB DB

Note that the lengths are directed. When the cross-ratio is equal to 1, we say that (A, B; C, D)

is a harmonic bundle. A particular case which occurs in many problems is when A, C, B, D are on

a line in this order.

Let P be a point not collinear with A, B, C, D; we define the pencil P (A, B, C, D) to be made up

of 4 lines P A, P B, P C, P D. P (A, B, C, D) is called harmonic when (A, B; C, D) is harmonic.

C 0 , D0 respectively. Then (A0 , B 0 ; C 0 , D0 ) = (A, B; C, D).

Proof: Wolog A, C, B, D are collinear in this order. Using Sine Law in 4CP A, 4CP B, 4DP A,

4DP B, we get (the lengths and angles are directed):

CA DA sin(CP A) sin(DP A)

: = sin(CP B) : sin(DP B) (2)

CB DB

This gives a trigonometric definition corresponding to a cross ratio. Lemma 1 follows from (2).

Therefore for any pencil P (A, B, C, D), we can define its cross ratio to be:

(P A, P B; P C, P D) = (A, B; C, D). This definition is ok because of lemma 1.

Corollary 1: This is extremely useful. Using the same notation as in lemma 1, if (A, B; C, D)

is harmonic then so is (A0 , B 0 ; C 0 , D0 ).

BC, CA, AB. Let F E intersect BC at G. Then A

(B, C; D, G) is harmonic iff AD, BE, CF are concur-

rent. F

E

B G

D C

1

IMO Training 2010 Projective Geometry Alexander Remorov

P be any point on the circle. Then the cross ratio

(P A, P B; P C, P D) does not depend on P .

Proof: From (2) it follows that

sin(CP A) sin(DP A) CA DA

|(P A, P B; P C, P D)| = | : |=| : | (3)

sin(CP B) sin(DP B) CB DB

CA DA

A, C, B, D are on a circle in this order, and | CB | = | DB |, then ACBD is harmonic. The nice

thing about lemma 3 is that it allows you to use harmonic pencils for circles.

line through P intersecting at A, B (so that P, A, B are collinear in this order). Let AB intersect

CD at Q. Then ACBD is a harmonic quadrilateral and (P, Q; A, B) is harmonic.

AD

Proof: 4P AD 4P DB = DB = PP D

A

. Similarly

AC PA

CB = PC . Because P C = P D, it follows that ACBD

is harmonic. D

We can now apply lemma 3. We take P=C (!) and con-

sider the intersection of C(A, B, C, D) with line l. Since P

ACBD is harmonic, the resulting 4 points of intersec- Q A

tion form a harmonic bundle, hence (P, Q; A, B) is har-

monic.

B C

Corollary 2: Points A, C, B, D lie on a line in this order,

and M is the midpoint of CD. Then (A, B; C, D) is har-

monic iff AC AD = AB AM .

Proof: Whenever you see things like AC AD and circles, trying Power of a Point is a good idea.

Assume AC AD = AB AM . Consider the circle centred at M passing through C, D. Let

AT be a tangent from A to this circle. Then AC AD = AT 2 . Hence AB AM = AT 2 and

4AT M 4ABT . Since AT M = 90 it follows that ABT = 90 . By lemma 4 (A, B; C, D) is

harmonic. The converse of the corollary is proved in the same way.

order. P is a point not on on this line. Then

any two of the following conditions imply the P

third:

1. (A, B; C, D) is harmonic.

2. P B is the angle bisector of CP D. A C B D

3. AP P B.

2

IMO Training 2010 Projective Geometry Alexander Remorov

Given a circle with center O and radius r and any point A 6= O. Let A0 be the point on

ray OA such that OA OA0 = r2 . The line l through A0 perpendicular to OA is called the polar of

A with respect to . A is called the pole of l with respect to .

Lemma 6: Consider a circle and a point P outside it. Let P C and P D be the tangents from P

to . Then ST is the polar of P with respect to .

Proof: Straightforward.

Note: Using the same notation as in lemma 4, it follows that Q lies on the polar of P with

respect to .

La Hires Theorem: This is extremely useful. A point X lies on the polar of a point Y with

respect to a circle . Then Y lies on the polar of X with respect to .

Proof: Straightforward.

der on a circle with center O. AC and BD inter-

B

sect at P , AB and DC intersect at Q, AD and BC

O Q

intersect at R. Then O is the orthocenter of 4P QR. F

E P

Furthermore, QR is the polar of P , P Q is the po-

C

lar of R, and P R is the polar of Q with respect to

. D

Proof: Let QP intersect BC, AD at F, E, respec-

tively. From lemma 2 it follows that (R, E; A, D) and

(R, F ; B, C) is harmonic. From lemma 4 it follows

that EF is the polar of R. Hence P Q is the po-

lar of R. Similarly P R is the polar of Q and RQ

is the polar of P . The fact that O is the orthocen-

ter of 4P QR follows from properties of poles and po-

lars. R

The configurations in the above lemmas and theorems come up in olympiad problems over and

over again. You have to learn to recognize these configurations. Sometimes you need to com-

plete the diagram by drawing extra lines and sometimes even circles to arrive at a

standard configuration.

3

IMO Training 2010 Projective Geometry Alexander Remorov

Problems

Many of the following problems can be done without using projective geometry, however try to

use it in your solutions.

0. [Useful] M is the midpoint of a line segment AB. Let P be a point at infinity on line AB.

Prove that (M, P ; A, B) is harmonic.

1. [Useful] Points A, C, B, D are on a line in this order, so that (A, B; C, D) is harmonic. Let M

be the midpoint of AB. Prove that AM 2 = M C M D. (There is a purely algebraic way to do this,

as well as a way using poles and polars. Try to find the latter).

2. The tangents to the circumcircle of 4ABC at B and C intersect at D. Prove that AD is the

symmedian of 4ABC.

3. AD is the altitude of an acute 4ABC. Let P be an arbitrary point on AD. BP, CP meet

AC, AB at M, N , respectively. M N intersects AD at Q. F is an arbitrary point on side AC. F Q

intersects line CN at E. Prove that F DA = EDA.

4. Point M lies on diagonal BD of parallelogram ABCD. Line AM intersects side CD and line

BC at points K and N , respectively. Let C1 be the circle with center M and radius M A and C2 be

the circumcircle of triangle KCN . C1 , C2 intersect at P and Q. Prove that M P, M Q are tangent

to C2 .

5. (IMO 1985) A circle with centre O passes through vertices A, C of 4ABC and intersects its sides

BA, BC at distinct points K, N , respectively. The circumcircles of 4ABC and 4KBN intersect

at point B and another point M . Prove that OM B = 90 .

6. (Vietnam 2009) Let A, B be two fixed points and C is a variable point such that ACB = , a

constant in the range [0 , 180 ]. The incircle of 4ABC with incentre I touches sides AB, BC, CA

at points D, E, F , respectively. AI, BI intersect EF at M, N respectively. Prove that the length

of M N is constant and the circumcircle of 4DM N passes through a fixed point.

7. (Vietnam 2003) Circles C1 and C2 are externally tangent at M , and radius of C2 is greater than

radius of C1 . A is a point on C2 which does not lie on the line joining the centers of the circles. Let

B and C be points on C1 such that AB and AC are tangent to C1 . Lines BM and CM intersect

C2 again at E and F , respectively. Let D be the intersection of the tangent to C2 at A and line

EF . Show that the locus of D as A varies is a straight line.

8. (SL 2004 G8) In a cyclic quadrilateral ABCD, let E be the intersection of AD and BC (so

that C is between B and E), and F be the intersection of AC and BD. Let M be the midpoint of

AM AN

side CD, and N 6= M be a point on the circumcircle of 4ABM such that M B = N B . Show that

E, F, N are collinear.

9. (SL 2006, G6) Circles 1 and 2 with centres O1 and O2 are externally tangent at point D and

internally tangent to a circle at points E and F respectively. Line l is the common tangent of 1

and 2 at D. Let AB be the diameter of perpendicular to l, so that A, E, O1 are on the same

side of l. Prove that AO1 , BO2 , EF and l are concurrent.

4

IMO Training 2010 Projective Geometry Alexander Remorov

Hints

0. This is obvious. However, make sure you know this fact! It is used for several other problems

on the handout.

1. It is not hard.

2. It is not hard.

5. Draw tangents from B to the circumcircle of AKCN . Now draw another circle with centre B.

Complete the diagram.

5

IMO Training 2010 Projective Geometry Alexander Remorov

References

http://reflections.awesomemath.org/2007_4/harmonic_division.pdf

http://www.imomath.com/tekstkut/projg_ml.pdf

http://web.mit.edu/yufeiz/www/imo2008/zhao-circles.pdf

http://web.mit.edu/yufeiz/www/cyclic_quad.pdf

http://web.mit.edu/yufeiz/www/geolemmas.pdf

http://www.artofproblemsolving.com/Forum/index.php

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