Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from LYNDELL:

I have a right triangle and know the length of all sides. How do I calculate the shortest distance from the vertex of the 90 degree angle to the hypotenuse?

Hi Lyndell,

In the right triangle below $D$ is the point on $CA$ which is closest to $B.$


The angle $CDB$ is a right angle. Can you see why? What do you know about the relationship between the triangles $CBD$ and $CAB?$


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