Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Sarah, a parent:

Two parallel chords in the same circle have lengths of 30 cm and 48 cm. The circle has a radius of 25 cm. How far apart are the chords?

Hi Sarah,

Draw a diagram.


BA is the chord of length 30 cm and P is its midpoint. Triangle APC is a right triangle, the length of CA is 25 cm and the length of AP is 30/2 = 15 cm. Ask Pythagoras to tell you the length of PC.


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