Problem #2226


Many Gothic cathedrals have windows with portions containing a ring of congruent circles that are circumscribed by a larger circle. In the figure shown, the number of smaller circles is four. What is the ratio of the sum of the areas of the four smaller circles to the area of the larger circle?

[asy] unitsize(6mm); defaultpen(linewidth(.8pt));  draw(Circle((0,0),1+sqrt(2))); draw(Circle((sqrt(2),0),1)); draw(Circle((0,sqrt(2)),1)); draw(Circle((-sqrt(2),0),1)); draw(Circle((0,-sqrt(2)),1)); [/asy]

$\mathrm{(A)}\ 3-2\sqrt2 \qquad \mathrm{(B)}\ 2-\sqrt2 \qquad \mathrm{(C)}\ 4(3-2\sqrt2) \qquad \mathrm{(D)}\ \frac12(3-\sqrt2) \qquad \mathrm{(E)}\ 2\sqrt2-2$

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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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