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Right triangle with the base labeled: a, the height labeled: b, and the hypotenuse labeled: c

Finding the length of the missing side of a right triangle

Find the length of the missing side of the right triangle in [link] .

Right triangle with the base labeled: a, the height labeled: 4, and the hypotenuse labeled 12.

As we have measurements for side b and the hypotenuse, the missing side is a.

a 2 + b 2 = c 2 a 2 + ( 4 ) 2 = ( 12 ) 2 a 2 + 16 = 144 a 2 = 128 a = 128 = 8 2
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Use the Pythagorean Theorem to solve the right triangle problem: Leg a measures 4 units, leg b measures 3 units. Find the length of the hypotenuse.

5 units

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Key equations

quadratic formula x = b ± b 2 4 a c 2 a

Key concepts

  • Many quadratic equations can be solved by factoring when the equation has a leading coefficient of 1 or if the equation is a difference of squares. The zero-factor property is then used to find solutions. See [link] , [link] , and [link] .
  • Many quadratic equations with a leading coefficient other than 1 can be solved by factoring using the grouping method. See [link] and [link] .
  • Another method for solving quadratics is the square root property. The variable is squared. We isolate the squared term and take the square root of both sides of the equation. The solution will yield a positive and negative solution. See [link] and [link] .
  • Completing the square is a method of solving quadratic equations when the equation cannot be factored. See [link] .
  • A highly dependable method for solving quadratic equations is the quadratic formula, based on the coefficients and the constant term in the equation. See [link] .
  • The discriminant is used to indicate the nature of the roots that the quadratic equation will yield: real or complex, rational or irrational, and how many of each. See [link] .
  • The Pythagorean Theorem, among the most famous theorems in history, is used to solve right-triangle problems and has applications in numerous fields. Solving for the length of one side of a right triangle requires solving a quadratic equation. See [link] .

Section exercises

Verbal

How do we recognize when an equation is quadratic?

It is a second-degree equation (the highest variable exponent is 2).

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When we solve a quadratic equation, how many solutions should we always start out seeking? Explain why when solving a quadratic equation in the form a x 2 + b x + c = 0 we may graph the equation y = a x 2 + b x + c and have no zeroes ( x -intercepts).

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When we solve a quadratic equation by factoring, why do we move all terms to one side, having zero on the other side?

We want to take advantage of the zero property of multiplication in the fact that if a b = 0 then it must follow that each factor separately offers a solution to the product being zero: a = 0   o r  b = 0.

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In the quadratic formula, what is the name of the expression under the radical sign b 2 4 a c , and how does it determine the number of and nature of our solutions?

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Describe two scenarios where using the square root property to solve a quadratic equation would be the most efficient method.

One, when no linear term is present (no x term), such as x 2 = 16. Two, when the equation is already in the form ( a x + b ) 2 = d .

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Questions & Answers

A laser rangefinder is locked on a comet approaching Earth. The distance g(x), in kilometers, of the comet after x days, for x in the interval 0 to 30 days, is given by g(x)=250,000csc(π30x). Graph g(x) on the interval [0, 35]. Evaluate g(5)  and interpret the information. What is the minimum distance between the comet and Earth? When does this occur? To which constant in the equation does this correspond? Find and discuss the meaning of any vertical asymptotes.
Kaitlyn Reply
The sequence is {1,-1,1-1.....} has
amit Reply
circular region of radious
Kainat Reply
how can we solve this problem
Joel Reply
Sin(A+B) = sinBcosA+cosBsinA
Eseka Reply
Prove it
Eseka
Please prove it
Eseka
hi
Joel
June needs 45 gallons of punch. 2 different coolers. Bigger cooler is 5 times as large as smaller cooler. How many gallons in each cooler?
Arleathia Reply
7.5 and 37.5
Nando
find the sum of 28th term of the AP 3+10+17+---------
Prince Reply
I think you should say "28 terms" instead of "28th term"
Vedant
the 28th term is 175
Nando
192
Kenneth
if sequence sn is a such that sn>0 for all n and lim sn=0than prove that lim (s1 s2............ sn) ke hole power n =n
SANDESH Reply
write down the polynomial function with root 1/3,2,-3 with solution
Gift Reply
if A and B are subspaces of V prove that (A+B)/B=A/(A-B)
Pream Reply
write down the value of each of the following in surd form a)cos(-65°) b)sin(-180°)c)tan(225°)d)tan(135°)
Oroke Reply
Prove that (sinA/1-cosA - 1-cosA/sinA) (cosA/1-sinA - 1-sinA/cosA) = 4
kiruba Reply
what is the answer to dividing negative index
Morosi Reply
In a triangle ABC prove that. (b+c)cosA+(c+a)cosB+(a+b)cisC=a+b+c.
Shivam Reply
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Aaron Reply
Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, Algebra and trigonometry. OpenStax CNX. Nov 14, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11758/1.6
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