Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from lisa, a parent:

find the height of a triangle, which can be split into two right triangles, but the base (4') is not split equally in half. No interior angles are given.
side a=3', side b=5'

Hi Lisa,

There is something strange about this problem or at least about the way I am interpreting it. Are the lengths of the sides of the triangle given as 4', 3' and 5'? If so, then since 32 + 42 = 52, the converse of Pythagoras theorem tell you that this is a right triangle with the right angle between the sides of length 3' and 4'. Thus if the base is the side of length 4 ' then the height is 3'.


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