Pythagorean Triples – Definition, Formula, Examples, Facts

Hey there, young math explorers! Have you ever wondered about special numbers that can make amazing triangles? Well, you’re in for a treat because we’re about to dive into the world of Pythagorean Triples. These are like secret codes that help us create fantastic right-angled triangles. In this fun adventure, we’ll discover what they are, how to find them, and have a look at some cool examples.

What are Pythagorean Triples

Pythagorean Triples are sets of three special numbers, and they’re like the superheroes of the math world. Why? Because they make perfect right-angled triangles. A right-angled triangle has one corner that’s like a square corner.

The three numbers in a Pythagorean Triple are (a, b, c), and they follow a fantastic rule, known as the Pythagorean Theorem:

a² + b² = c²

Here’s what those letters mean:

  • a and b are the lengths of the two shorter sides of the triangle.
  • c is the length of the longest side, which we call the “hypotenuse.”

But wait, there’s more! The Pythagorean Triples always make sure that if you square the first shorter side and add it to the square of the second shorter side, you’ll get the square of the hypotenuse. It’s like magic math!

The Formula for Generating Pythagorean Triples

Want to know how to find Pythagorean Triples? It’s like a secret recipe.

You need two special numbers, m and n, where m is bigger than n or m > n. Then you use this formula:

  • a = m² – n²
  • b = 2mn
  • c = m² + n²

Where a and b are the shorter sides, and c is the hypotenuse. By varying the values of m and n, you can produce an infinite number of Pythagorean Triples. It’s worth noting that if m and n are coprime (share no common factors other than 1), then the generated triple will be primitive.

Examples of Pythagorean Triples

  1. 3-4-5 Triple: If you choose m = 2 and n = 1, you get the triple (3, 4, 5). Check it out: 3² + 4² = 5². It’s like a math puzzle that fits perfectly!
  2. 5-12-13 Triple: Try m = 3 and n = 2, and you’ll have the triple (5, 12, 13). Guess what? 5² + 12² = 13². It’s always like magic!
  3. 7-24-25 Triple: Use m = 5 and n = 2, and you’ll have the triple (7, 24, 25). Surprise, surprise: 7² + 24² = 25². The Pythagorean Triples never let us down.

List of Pythagorean Triples

  1. (3, 4, 5)
  2. (5, 12, 13)
  3. (7, 24, 25)
  4. (8, 15, 17)
  5. (9, 40, 41)
  6. (11, 60, 61)
  7. (12, 35, 37)
  8. (13, 84, 85)
  9. (15, 112, 113)
  10. (20, 21, 29)
  11. (28, 45, 53)
  12. (33, 56, 65)
  13. (36, 323, 325)
  14. (65, 72, 97)
  15. (99, 100, 141)
  16. (140, 171, 221)
  17. (189, 340, 389)
  18. (200, 375, 425)

These Pythagorean Triples represent the sides of right-angled triangles where the sum of the squares of the two shorter sides equals the square of the longest side (the hypotenuse).

Fascinating Facts about Pythagorean Triples

  • Pythagorean Triples have been known since ancient times and were employed by ancient civilizations, including the Egyptians and Babylonians, for practical purposes, such as construction and land measurement.
  • Every positive integer can be part of at least one Pythagorean Triple. This means there are infinite triples to explore.
  • Primitive Pythagorean Triples (those where a, b, and c share no common factors other than 1) form a unique pattern of odd and even numbers, making them a captivating subject of study in number theory.


Pythagorean Triples are like math superheroes, helping us create perfect right-angled triangles. They follow a magical rule, and with a special recipe, we can find as many of them as we want. It’s like an endless math adventure! So, keep exploring and enjoy the wonders of these incredible numbers.