Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Maurice, a student:

Sam and sally planted two sunflowers. Each sunflower grows 1cm each day. Sally's sunflower is 4cm high. Sam's is 12cm high. How high will each sunflower be when Sam's sunflower is twice the height of Sally's?

Hi Maurice,

Sally's sunflower is 4 cm high and grows 1 cm each day. Hence after 1 day is will be $4 + 1$ cm high. After 2 days it will be $4 = 2 \times 1$ cm high and after 3 days $4 + 3 \times 1$ cm high. How tall will it be after $t$ days? How tall will Sam's sunflower be after $t$ days?Set the height of Sam's sunflower after $t$ days to twice the height of Sally's sunflower after $t$ days and solve for $t.$


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