Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from clyde, a parent:

I am trying to determine the height of a pole by using 3 angles top 30.8 deg, center 17.3 deg, and bottom -5.8 deg. Can you point me in the right direction?

Hi Clyde.

Think of any triangle, square or other geometric shape you choose. Now scale (magnify) it by a factor of two. Have any angles changed? They haven't, because angles only indicate shape. With nothing in your question that fixes the length of any element, there is nothing we can say about the length of any other thing in the scene. It's like looking at an architectural drawing of a structure without a scale - you can't tell what the lengths are.

Stephen La Rocque.>

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