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Homework Help: Application of partial derivatives

  1. Jun 11, 2005 #1


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    I have no idea where to start, for this question. I know that I will probably have to use vector and scalar product and use the trig identity tan^2(theta)=sec^2(theta)-1.

    In order to determine the angle theta which a sloping plane ceiling makes with the horizontal floor, an equilateral traingle of side-length l is drawn on the floor and the height of the ceiling above the three vertices is measured to be a,b and c. Show that:
    tan^2(theta) = 4(a^2 + b^2 + c^2 - ab -bc - ac)/3t^2

    Thanks in advance for anyone's help!
  2. jcsd
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