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More triangle woes

  1. Aug 28, 2008 #1
    In a 3-4-5 triangle, how long is a line extending from the 90 degree angle down to the middle of the hypothenus.

    Thats all I've been given. I think I am supposed to figure this out without trig, just basic geometric properties. But I'm stumped.

    I can see that the hypothenus is divided into two 2.5 halves, but I cant seem to make any right angle triangles where I know two lengths.

    k
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 28, 2008 #2
    Use the cosine rule.
     
  4. Aug 28, 2008 #3
    I wanted a solution without trig.

    But I just figured it out. A 90 degree angle has to be located on a circle with diameter equal to the hypothenus, and so the line must be equal to the radius of the circle, and so it is 2.5

    k
     
  5. Aug 28, 2008 #4
    Your answer is correct.
     
  6. Aug 29, 2008 #5
    You could have also just used Pythagorean theorem and a system of equations with 2 variables to work it out.
     
  7. Aug 29, 2008 #6
    Never mind my last post. I read the problem incorrectly. I thought the line was perpendicular to the hypotenuse, not at its midpoint.
     
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