Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Georgia, a student:

I have been given the following question in a maths assingment, and have so far been unable to answer it.

To begin, i am required to draw a square pyramid as follows:
1. draw a 3 dimensional diagram of a square based pyramid
2. label the square base as ABCD, call the vertex H.
3. Mark in E and F the midpoints of AD and BC respectively and O is the midpoint of EF
Note: this therefore makes FO = FC

this i was fine with, it was the following question that stumped me.

1. if the height of the pyramid is 280m, what is the length of the base?

Thanks, Georgia


This question is troubling in several ways. The first thing that caught my attention was the 3-dimensional diagram -- I understand a 3-dimensional model or a 2-dimensional diagram, but what is a 3-dimensional diagram?
But that is just a minor point. There is not enough information to determine the base of a pyramid from its height. All one can say is that at 280m, it is twice the height of the Great Pyramid of Egypt; in fact, it's roughly the height of the Eiffel Tower.


About Math Central


Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.
Quandaries & Queries page Home page University of Regina PIMS