Problem #2060


A circle centered at $A$ with a radius of 1 and a circle centered at $B$ with a radius of 4 are externally tangent. A third circle is tangent to the first two and to one of their common external tangents as shown. The radius of the third circle is

[asy] unitsize(0.75cm); pair A=(0,1), B=(4,4); dot(A); dot(B); draw( circle(A,1) ); draw( circle(B,4) ); draw( (-1.5,0)--(8.5,0) ); draw( A -- (A+(-1,0)) ); label("$1$", A -- (A+(-1,0)), N ); draw( B -- (B+(4,0)) ); label("$4$", B -- (B+(4,0)), N ); label("$A$",A,E); label("$B$",B,W);  filldraw( circle( (12/9,4/9), 4/9 ), lightgray, black ); dot( (12/9,4/9) ); [/asy]

$\text{(A) }\frac {1}{3} \qquad \text{(B) }\frac {2}{5} \qquad \text{(C) }\frac {5}{12} \qquad \text{(D) }\frac {4}{9} \qquad \text{(E) }\frac {1}{2}$

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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