Copyright © University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.

'Garfield's Proof' printed from

Show menu

This text is usually replaced by the Flash movie.

Rotate a copy of the trapezium about the centre of the longest side of the blue triangle to make a square. What is the area of the square? From this formula for the area of this square derive a formula for the area of the trapezium.

Now write down the area of the trapezium as the sum of the areas of the three right angled triangles.

Use these results to give a proof of Pythagoras Theorem explaining each step.

This proof is credited to James A. Garfield (1876) the 20 th President of the United States.