Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Trevor, a student:

A 6m ladder is placed against a wall making a 56 degree angle with the ground. How far up the wall does the ladder reach?

Hi Trevor,

Here is what I see


and you want to find the length x.

If the wall is perpendicular to the wall then the triangle you see is a right triangle. What trig function relates the angle measure of 56o, the length of the opposite side x feet and the length of the hypotenuse, 6 feet?


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