Let S_{k} be the transformation mapping (x,y,z) onto (kx,ky,kz). 
k is variously called the magnitude, scale factor, size change factor, or even ratio of similitude. It can be any value but zero. However, k is usually taken as positive. Negative values result in a 180° rotation of the figure. Unless k=1, a similarity transformation is not an isometry. The isometries (reflection, translation, rotation, and glide reflection), are only one class of transformations. Another important class of transformations are those which preserve shape without necessarily preserving size. A formal definition follows.
A transformation is a similarity transformation if and only if it is the composition of size changes and reflections. 
Remember how isometries preserved Angle measure, Betweenness, Collinearity, and Distance (ABCD Theorem). Angle measure, Betweenness, and Collinearity are still preserved by similarity. Thus only Distance is not preserved. However, distance is scaled by the magnitude k. That is, the distance between any points on the new figure is now k times the original distance. If 0 < k < 1, our resulting image is smaller than the original. This is called a contraction. If k > 1, our resulting image is larger than the original. This is called an expansion, a dilation, or perhaps a dilatation. If k = 1, we have the identity transformation and our resulting image is the same size as the original. A classic example would be enlargements of a picture or letters in different font sizes: zZZZ.
Figures F and G are similar, (notation: F ~ G), if and only if the size change and reflections map one onto the other. Similar Figures have the following properties:

Example: Consider a similarly proportioned 5'6", 67 Kg math teacher and 6'8" basketball player. Find the basketball player's mass. Solution: Their masses correspond not directly with height, but with the cube. Thus to find the corresponding mass of the basketball player we form the proportion: (66"/80")^{3}=67/x. We need to be able to easily solve for x=119 Kg (or 263 pounds). More on that below.
Example: One of the biggest controversies regarding scale models and proportions (see below) involves the infamous Barbie doll. It debutted in 1959, thus has had a long history over several generations, sold over a billion since, and two currently sell each second somewhere. The average American girl will possess eight. Feminists hate her, labelling her a "vacuous blonde." Others blame her for bulimia, anerexia, and teen suicide. In 1998 Mattel released two dozen new Barbies, a third of which had modified body shapes to "appear more contemporary." Perhaps it was in response to complaints about her reputed 381834 dimensions. Thus the modified dolls were thicker waisted, flatter chested, had flatter feet, and were more tight lipped. Consider an oldfashioned Barbie measuring 11.133" tall which you wish to scale up to 5'9". If you have access to a real Barbie, measure her bust, waist, and hips, then compute the corresponding ratios, and compare them with the values of 35?31 found by one author.
If G is the preimage and G' the image, then:

a_{11} a_{12} 
a_{21} a_{22} 
b_{11} b_{12} 
b_{21} b_{22} 
a_{11}×b_{11} + a_{12}×b_{21} a_{11}×b_{12} + a_{12}×b_{22} 
a_{21}×b_{11} + a_{22}×b_{21} a_{21}×b_{12} + a_{22}×b_{22} 
Now consider what happens if the 2×2 identity matrix matrix I_{2}=
1 0 
0 1 
Continuing, consider what happens when the following matrix is used. With this notation, a size change of 2 can be represented by transforming every point P=(x,y) by multiplying the matrix matrix P=
x 0 
0 y 
2 0 
0 2 
½ 0 
0 ½ 
When working with proportions, one often encounters what is called crossmultiplication. Before getting into that, let's be clear about the names of the various terms involved in a proportion. Two naming systems are in common use. The first method numbers the terms. Thus if the proportion is a/b=c/d, a is term 1; b is term 2; c is term 3; and d is term 4. The terms numbered with squares (1 and 4) are known as the extremes, whereas the terms numbered with primes (2 and 3) are known as the means.
Crossmultiplication is often taught as a new trick, but really is the same as clearing the denominators, that is, multiplying by both denominators. Thus starting with a/b=c/d, we can multiply both sides by b and by d and obtain ad=cb, where we have cancelled out common factors. We can get there in one step by also multiplying the extremes and setting the product equal to the product of the means. When done in this fashion, we are using the MeansExtremes Property or doing cross multiplication. The point is that this shortcut method is nothing new, and the same concerns about multiplying by something which could be zero apply. When the means are equal (cf problem 12.5#16) we obtain the geometric mean which will be discuss more in the next lesson and was already covered in statistics. Just like we had extended ratios, we can have extended proportions. The law of sines in lesson 7 is a good example.
The extremes Mr. Gulliver encountered emphasizes the biological limitations of scale. Small creatures can exist with only an exoskeleton, whereas large creatures require the internal structure of a skeleton. Even then, the large legs of an elephant are in sharp contrast with the long neck and narrow legs of a giraffe. Without the bouyancy of water, a blue whale quickly sufficates. Similarly, a mosquito can walk on water, but if hit by a rain drop might never get out of the water alive (awww). (The large mammals which existed after the demise of the dinosaurs may have been aided by an atmosphere with a higher oxygen content than we have today.)
The human body has an average shape, which is getting taller and heavier in recent years, but there is great variation in the size of various parts. Presumably such variation follows the normal (bellshaped) distribution), but exercise, diet, drugs, and surgery are often used to attain certain shapes deemed more attractive or desireable. As styles change, the task of finding clothes which "fit" becomes challenging as various cracks, crevises, and protuberances are more or less concealed or revealed. In addition to the generational differences, there are cultural differences to which many remain unaware. An interesting project our textbook suggests on page 730 is to use your weight/height to create a chart for similarly proportioned people ranging from 4'6" to 6'6", in twoinch increments. Do standard height/weight charts assume similarity?
music structure (page 69012.1#19dominant 7th chord) use graph paper for cube net (page 719) put students in means/extreme proportion. page 725 note kilocalories (not calories)
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