Problem with angles and differentiation

  • Thread starter TW Cantor
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  • #1
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Homework Statement



A "big screen" AB of height L is placed at a height h above a point C on the ground as shown (in the attachment). A person wishes to sit on the ground at a point D in order to watch a video on the big screen. She wishes to sit at a horizontal distance x away from C which gives her the best view. This means that she wishes to sit at a value of x which maximises the viewing angle . If L = 16.2m and h = 7.7m, find this value of x.




Homework Equations






The Attempt at a Solution



i know i have to get an equation which i can then differentiate but im not sure how to get this equation and what i would then differentiate with respect to.
 

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Answers and Replies

  • #2
tiny-tim
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Hi TW Cantor! :wink:

Find the angle ADB as a function of x, and then differentiate …

what do you get? :smile:
 
  • #3
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umm i got cos(θ)=((x^2)+184.03)/((sqrt((x^2)+571.21)*(sqrt((x^2)+59.29))

is that the sort of thing i should get getting for cos in terms of x?
 
  • #4
tiny-tim
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How did you get that? :confused:
 
  • #5
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haha obviously not the right way then. i tried to find the lengths of AD and BD in terms of x, and then used the cosine rule to get theta in terms of x?
 
  • #6
tiny-tim
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Oh I see it now! …

yes that looks ok …

now minimise cosθ (the whole thing). :wink:
 
  • #7
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sorry does that mean inverse cos of the whole thing?
 
  • #8
tiny-tim
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no! stop making it complicated! :biggrin:

you want the largest θ …

that'll be the smallest cosθ …

put y = cosθ (if that makes you happier) …

now y is a function of x, so use dy/dx to find a minimum for y (= cosθ) :wink:
 
  • #9
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ok, so i say that y=((x^2)+184.03)/((sqrt((x^2)+571.21)*(sqrt((x^2)+59.29))
i then say dy/dx=0 and use that to calculate a value for x?
 
  • #10
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this method worked :-) i got x=13.57, thanks a lot for your help :-) :-)
 
  • #11
tiny-tim
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… i then say dy/dx=0 and use that to calculate a value for x?

(have a square-root: √ and try using the X2 tag just above the Reply box :wink:)

Yes.

Except, now that I look at it again, it would be easier to use y2 instead of y (to avoid those nasty square-roots :yuck:). :wink:
 
  • #12
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yeah it did come out as quite a nasty differential :-( but i got the right answer so its fine :-)
 

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