Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Susan, a parent:

The foot of an extension ladder is 7 ft. from a wall. The height that the ladder reaches on the wall and the length of the ladder are consecutive integers. How long is the ladder?


If the wall is perpendicular to the ground then the ground, wall and ladder form a right triangle. Suppose the height that the ladder reaches the wall is x feet then the ladder is x + 1 feet long. What does Pythagoras tell you?


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