Sets That Contain Their Circle Centers
Abstract:Say that a subset S of the plane is a "circle-center set" if S is not a subset of a line, and whenever we choose three non-collinear points from S, the center of the circle through those three points is also an element of S. A problem appearing on the Macalester College Problem of the Week website stated that a finite set of points in the plane, no three lying on a common line, cannot be a circle-center set. Various solutions to this problem that did not use the full strength of the hypotheses appeared, and the conjecture was subsequently made that every circle-center set is unbounded. In this article, we show how to prove a stronger assertion, namely that the one closed circle-center set is the entire plane, or equivalently that every circle-center set is dense in the plane. The step-by-step journey proceeds using elementary geometry for the most part, with a dash of plane topology thrown in.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: November 1, 2008
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- The College Mathematics Journal is designed to enhance classroom learning and stimulate thinking regarding undergraduate mathematics. CMJ publishes articles, short Classroom Capsules, problems, solutions, media reviews and other pieces. All are aimed at the college mathematics curriculum with emphasis on topics taught in the first two years.
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