Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Beth:

My husband has a drawn diagram on a piece of paper of a baseball diamond. He knows that on the paper 1 1/16" (1.6875") = 90 actual feet. How do we calculate how many feet 5 7/8" on the paper would be?


The way you have written 1 1/16 I think it is one and one-sixteenth inches. One-sixteenth is 0.0625 so one and one-sixteenth inches is 1.0625 inches. The decimal you have, 1.6875 is eleven-sixteenths. Similarly five and seven-eights is 5 + 7/8 = 5 + 0.875 = 5.875 inches.

The question you ask can be answered by asking "How many times do you need to expand 1.0625 to get to 5.875?" The answer is 5.875/1.0625 = 5.529. Thus 5 7/8 is 5.529 times as large as 1 1/16. Hence the 5 7/8 on the paper represents 5.529 time 90 feet or 497.65 feet.

I hope this helps,

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