   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from Mubashir, a student: Steven left Town A and walked towards Town B at a speed of 100m/min. At the same time, Jason and Melvin started from Town B and walked towards Town A at a speed of 80m/min and 75m/min respectively. If Steven met Melvin six minutes after passing Jason, find the distance between Town A and Town B. Mubashir,

The important fact here is that rate is distance over time. You are measuring distance in meters and time in minutes so the rate is in meters/minutes.

Suppose the distance between A an B is $d$ meters. I am going to look at Steven and Jason. At what rate is the distance between them decreasing? I am going to call this rate $r_1$ m/min. Suppose $t_1$ is the time when they meet. At this time they have travelled $d$ meters. hence

$r_1 = \frac{d}{t_1}.$

Write a similar equation for Steven and Melvin where $t_2$ is the time when they meet. What do you know about $t_2$ and $t_1$?

Solve for $d.$

Penny      Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and the Imperial Oil Foundation.