Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Michelle, a parent:

We have a triangle it is a right isosceles. The sides touching the right angle are 10 cm. They hypotenuse is 14.1 (the base) we are trying to find the height of this so we can figure out the area of a shaded sector of a circle.

Hi Michelle,

In fact, the hypotenuse is really $10 \times \sqrt{2} = 14.1421356... \;.$ To solve your problem, compute the area of the triangle twice, first using one leg as base, and then using the hypotenuse as base.


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