Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Anna, a student:

Hi, I need to find the the base and the height of a triangular prism, but I only know the diameter of a tennis ball that fits exactly in the triangular container.. The diameter for the ball is 8.50cm.
Can you help me find the formula?
Thank you!

Hi Anna,

The height of the prism must be the diameter of the tennis ball but there are many possible choices for the triangular base. The diagram below shows 2 possibilities but there are many more.

triangular base

If the base is an equilateral triangle then you can determine its dimensions. My diagram is below.

equilateral base

Can you complete it now? Write back if you need more assistance,

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