How to Construct a Common Tangent of Two Circles

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Constructing a common tangent of two circles always requires you to keep a few very specific things in mind. Construct a common tangent of two circles with help from a longtime mathematics educator in this free video clip.

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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Jimmy Chang, and we're here to talk about how to construct a common tangent of two circles. Now, this can be a pretty straightforward process as long as you know what a tangent actually involving circles. Now, if you have two circles and whether it'd be very the same size or not, the idea is to construct a common tangent of two circles, you want to draw a tangent line that's going to touch both circles because that's part of what a tangent line is suppose to be is touch that of a circle. So, a common tangent touching two circles, what you want to do is you want to draw a line that's going to be tangent to both circles. So, in this case since they're of different size, you just want to draw in a way that it touches both. So, let's just say you have here, kind of a rough sketch of a line, but in this particular case, this line is tangent to this circle and this line is tangent to this circle and that's pretty much the way you do it. Now, you can draw another one if you like. This line is tangent to this circle and this line is tangent to that particular circle as well. So, it helps that the circle are going to be identical in size, but even if they're not, as long as you draw in a way that it'll touch both circles, you'll be good to go. So, I'm Jimmy Chang, and that's how to construct a common tangent to two circles.

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