PROPOSITION 79

To an apotome only one rational straight line can be annexed which is commensurable with the whole in square only.

Let AB be an apotome, and BC an annex to it; therefore AC, CB are rational straight lines commensurable in square only. [X. 73]

I say that no other rational straight line can be annexed to AB which is commensurable with the whole in square only.

For, if possible, let BD be so annexed; therefore AD, DB are also rational straight lines commensurable in square only. [X. 73]

Now, since the excess of the squares on AD, DB over twice the rectangle AD, DB is also the excess of the squares on AC, CB over twice the rectangle AC, CB, for both exceed by the same, the square on AB, [II. 7] therefore, alternately, the excess of the squares on AD, DB over the squares on AC, CB is the excess of twice the rectangle AD, DB over twice the rectangle AC, CB.

But the squares on AD, DB exceed the squares on AC, CB by a rational area, for both are rational; therefore twice the rectangle AD, DB also exceeds twice the rectangle AC, CB by a rational area: which is impossible, for both are medial [X. 21], and a medial area does not exceed a medial by a rational area. [X. 26]

Therefore no other rational straight line can be annexed to AB which is commensurable with the whole in square only.

Therefore only one rational straight line can be annexed to an apotome which is commensurable with the whole in square only. Q. E. D.