Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from albetel, a student:

A door is 7 feet tall and 36 inches wide. what is the widest sheet of plywood that can fit through the door?


If you put the sheet through the door straight up and down it can only be 7 feet tall. If you tilt the sheet so that it fits corner to corner in the doorway then the width of the door, the height of the door and the sheet of plywood form a right triangle.


Write the height of the door in inches. What does Pythagoras' Theorem tell you is the height of the sheet of plywood?


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