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If a straight line touch a circle, and a straight line be joined from the centre to the point of contact, the straight line so joined will be perpendicular to the tangent.

For let a straight line DE touch the circle ABC at the point C, let the centre F of the circle ABC be taken, and let FC be joined from F to C; I say that FC is perpendicular to DE.

For, if not, let FG be drawn from F perpendicular to DE.

Then, since the angle FGC is right,

the angle FCG is acute; [I. 17]
and the greater angle is subtended by the greater side; [I. 19]
therefore FC is greater than FG.

But FC is equal to FB;

therefore FB is also greater than FG, the less than the greater: which is impossible.

Therefore FG is not perpendicular to DE.

Similarly we can prove that neither is any other straight line except FC;

therefore FC is perpendicular to DE.

Therefore etc. Q. E. D.1

1 1

2 the tangent, ἐφαπτομένη.

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