Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from andrea, a student:

in triangle abc, a-b=5 and the area is 50cm2.If angle c- 90degrees, find the length of c.


Two sides are of length a cm and b cm and a - b = 5 so a = 5 + b. Since the angle at c is 90 degrees if a is the length of the base than b is the height. What is the area of the triangle in terms of a and b? Substitute a = 5 - b and use Pythagoras' theorem.


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