Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Mark:

Trying to buy a tent with 6 sides, in the catalog they give me sq. ft., what is the distance from side to side of a hexagonal tent with an area of 90 sq. ft.

Hi Mark.

Let's call the side length a.

You can consider the floor of the tent to be equivalent to a rectangular floor when you shift things around, as shown on the right..

If we call the height of the triangle h, then Pythagoras' theorem can express h in terms of the hexagon's side length a:

And since you know that the area is 90 sq ft., you can write an expression for the area in terms of a, solve for a and answer your question:

Stephen La Rocque.

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