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Calculus problem is a problem

  1. Mar 22, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The upper right-hand corner of a piece of paper, 12 in. by 8 in. is folded over to the bottom edge. How would you fold it so as to minimize the length of the fold? In other words, how would you choose x to minimize y?

    2. Relevant equations
    I know I need to use similar triangles and the Pythagorean Theorem (a^2+b^2=c^2) but I'm not sure of how to start the problem

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 22, 2007 #2
    You have to be more specif as for what you mean by the "length". There could be many interpretations.
  4. Mar 22, 2007 #3
    the length of the crease.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  5. Mar 22, 2007 #4
    Ok I get it. Well, say the hypotenuse of the triangle is y. The side along the bottom edge is x. The side along the vertical edge is z. Are you aware that

    y + z = 12


    Last edited: Mar 22, 2007
  6. Mar 22, 2007 #5
    oh okay. i get that.
  7. Mar 22, 2007 #6
    i actually think i have it now. Thank you very much for your help!
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