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Can anyone see a better way of solving this?

  1. Apr 9, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    attachment.php?attachmentid=57710&stc=1&d=1365594222.jpg


    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    I just derive two equations and solve simultaneously. It delivers the correct answer of 2933.5m. But it is a bit of a long method, can anyone see an easier way?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2013 #2

    ehild

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    Without seeing your work we can not tell if it can be done simpler.


    ehild
     
  4. Apr 10, 2013 #3
    Sorry, what I mean is; is there any non-simultaneous way to solve this?
     
  5. Apr 10, 2013 #4
    There is nothing wrong with your method. You might consider the law of sines for an alternative.
     
  6. Apr 10, 2013 #5
    Ok, cool. But that would still involve a simultaneous equation.
     
  7. Apr 10, 2013 #6

    ehild

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    Why is it a problem? It is simple to solve. Show what you did.

    Introduce the variable y/x. Or divide the equations with each other.

    ehild
     
  8. Apr 10, 2013 #7
    I do not think so.
     
  9. Apr 10, 2013 #8

    No problem at all. Just that someone I was talking to kept saying that I was over thinking it by solving simultaneous but I just can't see how to get around that.

    Ohh! How?
     
  10. Apr 10, 2013 #9
    What does the law of sines say?
     
  11. Apr 10, 2013 #10
    sin(A)/a=sin(B)/b=....
     
  12. Apr 10, 2013 #11
    In your problem you have three points: the point of the first sighing, the second sighting, and the light itself. Let's call them A, B, C.

    Can you find the length of AC or BC?
     
  13. Apr 10, 2013 #12
    no?

    -memoguy
     
  14. Apr 10, 2013 #13
    no what?
     
  15. Apr 10, 2013 #14
    I am an idiot. I am so sorry, I see it now!
     
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