Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from sheryl:

a 50*70 horse pen is 240 feet and 3500 square feet
a 60*60 horse penn is 240 feet and 3600 square feet

why is there a 100 square feet difference?

Hi Sheryl,

Look at the answer I gave to a similar question by Brooklyn. If you know then perimeter of a rectangle (the amount of fencing around your pen) then different shapes will give different areas. For example you could take the 240 feet of fencing and make the pen 4 feet wide and 116 feet long then the area is 4 × 116 = 464 square feet. Your rectangular pen has the largest area possible if it is a square.


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