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Triangular Cubes (Posted on 2004-12-04) Difficulty: 2 of 5

Three points have been chosen randomly from the vertices of a cube. What is the probability that they form (a) an acute triangle; (b) a right triangle?

See The Solution Submitted by Erik O.    
Rating: 3.0000 (2 votes)

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Solution | Comment 2 of 11 |
I come up with a 1/7 chance of an equilateral triangle, and a 6/7 chance of a right triangle.

There are (8 x 7 x 6) /(3 x 2 X 1) = 56 distinct sets of points that can be selected.

If any two of the points are on the same edge, then the resulting triangle is a right triangle.

The only sets which do not have a common edge are the 8 sets where each member of the set shares a common edge with one corner of the cube, and these all form equilateral triangles.

8/56 = 1/7 chance of an equilateral triangle.
6/7 chance of a right triangle.

  Posted by Steve Herman on 2004-12-04 17:25:13
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