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**GurraTedden****Member**- Registered: 2005-07-20
- Posts: 19

Hi, check this out:

http://engman.bravehost.com/mechanics/side.JPG

I've been sitting with it for 2 hours now, it just makes me crazy. I mean, it is

a possibility that the mechanical problem that this trig. is derived from is ment

to be solved in an other way, but i wouldn't bet my money on that.

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**mathsyperson****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-22
- Posts: 4,900

I'm probably reading your drawing wrong, but couldn't you use Pythagoras?

If so, x²=0.3²-0.2²

x²=0.05

x=√0.05≈0.223

Why did the vector cross the road?

It wanted to be normal.

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**GurraTedden****Member**- Registered: 2005-07-20
- Posts: 19

That's the problem, man! The answer should be 0.75, but I can't see it. I need to know if I can solve it,

or if I have to find another way of attacking the original problem. I would also like to read it like you did,

but unfortunately I have drawn it correct. The side 0.3 is not the hyp. of the little triangle. I have gone

forth and back on if there is some kind of connection between the ratios, or (what you call the relationship

between the sides that's not the hyp.)

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**mathsyperson****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-22
- Posts: 4,900

Well, if you don't have the hypotenuse, then it can't be solved as it is, because to use trigonometry you need 3 pieces of information and you've only got 1 side and 1 angle.

So, yes, you need to attack it another way. If you're still stuck then post the whole problem on here.

Why did the vector cross the road?

It wanted to be normal.

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**GurraTedden****Member**- Registered: 2005-07-20
- Posts: 19

But it's a mechanics problem.

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**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,626

The bigger triangle is a 3:4:5 triangle, but it could be sitting at any angle relative to the (0.2 and x) triangle, so x could be large or small.

Is it part of a wider problem? Perhaps there is a clue there.

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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