# The Importance of Alternate Exterior Angles: A Deep Dive

- Author: Noreen Niazi
- Last Updated on: August 22, 2023

SECTIONS

ToggleAs a mathematics teacher, I often come across students who struggle with geometry concepts, especially when it comes to angles. One such concept is alternate exterior angles. In this blog post, I will dive deep into alternate exterior angles, discussing their definition, properties, and the alternate exterior angles theorem. I will also provide real-life examples of alternate exterior angles and explain their significance.

## Introduction to Alternate Exterior Angles

Before we delve into the definition of alternate exterior angles, let us first understand what an angle is. An angle is a figure formed by two rays that share a common endpoint, also known as a vertex. Angles are measured in degrees, and a full rotation is 360 degrees. Now, let us move on to alternate exterior angles.

## Definition of Alternate Exterior Angles

Alternate exterior angles are pairs of angles formed when a transversal intersects two parallel lines. In other words, if we draw a line that intersects two parallel lines, the angles on opposite sides of the transversal and outside the parallel lines are alternate exterior angles. These angles are congruent, which means that they have the same measure.

## Properties of Alternate Exterior Angles

Alternate exterior angles have some unique properties that are worth noting. First, they are always congruent. This means that if we know the measure of one angle, we can easily find the measure of the other angle. Second, they are always located on opposite sides of the transversal and outside the parallel lines. This property is crucial when we apply the alternate exterior angles theorem.

## Alternate Exterior Angles Theorem

The alternate exterior angles theorem is a theorem that states that if a transversal intersects two parallel lines, then the alternate exterior angles are congruent. In other words, if we have two parallel lines and a transversal that intersects them, the angles on opposite sides of the transversal and outside the parallel lines are congruent.

## Converse of Alternate Exterior Angles Theorem

The converse of the alternate exterior angles theorem is also true. It states that the lines are parallel if a transversal cuts two lines, and the alternate exterior angles are congruent. This converse can be proven using a similar proof as the alternate exterior angles theorem.

Read more about decimal and fractions

Converting Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions: A Step-by-Step Guide

## Example of Alternate Exterior Angles Theorem

Let us consider the following example to understand the alternate exterior angles theorem.

Suppose we have two parallel lines, l and m, and a transversal t that intersects them at points A and B, respectively. Let x be an alternate exterior angle to angle 1. We know that angle 1 and angle 2 are supplementary because they form a linear pair. We also know that angle 2 and angle 3 are congruent because they are alternate exterior angles. Therefore, we can use the fact that angle 2 and angle 3 are congruent to find the measure of angle 1.

Angle 2 + Angle 3 = 180 (because they form a linear pair)

Angle 2 = Angle 3 (because they are congruent alternate exterior angles)

Substituting Angle 3 with Angle 2 in the equation above, we get:

Angle 1 + Angle 2 = 180 (because they form a linear pair)

Angle 2 + Angle 2 = 180 (substituting Angle 3 with Angle 2)

2 * Angle 2 = 180

Angle 2 = 90

Substituting Angle 2 with 90 in the equation for angles 1 and 2, we get:

Angle 1 + 90 = 180

Angle 1 = 90

Therefore, we have proved that Angle 1 and angle x are congruent.

## Applications of Alternate Exterior Angles Theorem

There are many circumstances in real life when the alternate exterior angles theorem can be applied. It is used, for instance, to build homes, bridges, and other constructions. Architects and engineers use the theory to guarantee that the constructions’ angles are accurate and that their lines are parallel. The theory is also applied to navigation, which aids in choosing a course of travel.

## Real-life Examples of Alternate Exterior Angles

Let’s look at a real-world illustration of several outside views.

Imagine that there are two parallel streets and a third street that crosses the first two. The buildings on the opposing sides of the street create alternate exterior angles in this situation. The distance between the buildings can be calculated using these congruent angles.

## Conclusion: The Significance of Alternate Exterior Angles

To sum up, when a transversal connects two parallel lines, it creates a pair of angles known as alternate exterior angles. They are situated outside the parallel lines, on the opposite sides of the transversal, and are always congruent. According to the alternate outside angles theorem, the alternate exterior angles are congruent if a transversal connects two parallel lines. This theory has numerous practical uses and is crucial to the building and navigation industries. Alternate external angles are a mathematical idea that can help us overcome issues and do precise computations.

So, the next time you see parallel lines and a transversal, keep in mind the alternate outside angles. They can assist you in finding a solution or figuring out a new area.