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Algebra homework problem

  1. May 19, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    I have just planted a new tree. To support the tree in bad weather, I attach guy wires from the trunk of the tree to stakes in the ground. I cut 32 feet of wire into four equal lengths to make the guy wires. I attach four guy wires, evenly spaced around the tree. I put the stakes in the ground five feet from the base of the trunk. Approximately how far up the trunk should I attach the guy wires?


    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    I would have 4 equal lengths of 8ft of guy wires. I would put the stakes in the ground 5ft from the base. In order to support the tree in bad weather, I would wrap the tree 2 ft around and wrap the stakes 1 ft around, therefore leaving me with 3 ft. of guy wires up the trunk.
     
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  3. May 19, 2013 #2

    phinds

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    Although that sounds very reasonable, I doubt that it is the intent of the problem statement that you include "wrapping".

    In any case, can you draw a right triangle using the information you have?
     
  4. May 19, 2013 #3
    If i draw a triangle from the information given, could I use the pythagorean theorem to solve the problem?
     
  5. May 19, 2013 #4

    SammyS

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    Why not?
     
  6. May 19, 2013 #5
    a2 + b2= c2

    a^2 + 5^2= 8^2

    a=6.24

    ??
     
  7. May 19, 2013 #6

    SammyS

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    Can you give the exact result, as √(something) ?
     
  8. May 19, 2013 #7
    I don't know. So, do you think it would be best to leave the answer as √(39) ?
     
  9. May 19, 2013 #8

    SammyS

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    What's the best way to leave the answer?

    It may depend upon the explicit instructions.
     
  10. May 19, 2013 #9
    It just says to write in paragrah form, similar to an essay test question.
     
  11. May 19, 2013 #10

    SammyS

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    Well, in that case, maybe you do want to wrap some of the wire around the tree and some around each stake. -- not nearly as much as you first stated. --- Why?
     
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