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To two given straight lines to find a mean proportional.

Let AB, BC be the two given straight lines; thus it is required to find a mean proportional to AB, BC.

Let them be placed in a straight line, and let the semicircle ADC be described on AC; let BD be drawn from the point B at right angles to the straight line AC, and let AD, DC be joined.

Since the angle ADC is an angle in a semicircle, it is right. [III. 31]

And, since, in the right-angled triangle ADC, DB has been drawn from the right angle perpendicular to the base, therefore DB is a mean proportional between the segments of the base, AB, BC. [VI. 8, Por.]

Therefore to the two given straight lines AB, BC a mean proportional DB has been found. Q. E. F.

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