1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Solve for the slope and length of a line segment

  1. Dec 28, 2013 #1

    The problem is to a.) solve for the slope m of the hypotenuse of the right triangle indicated by the shaded area, and b.) solve for the length of the hypotenuse, if possible. I made a mistake in transcribing the problem onto paper, the line of course extends indefinitely but the shaded area and the length of the line bounded by the y- and x-axes are all that are of interest.

    The area of the shaded area is 4, and a single point along the line are all that is given. I get also that a (0, y) and (x, 0) are also given, and I know that the point-slope formula is y - y1 = m(x - x1, but I'm not sure in what way to apply this information to the problem.

    Any thoughts?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 28, 2013 #2
    There are two pieces of information given, the area and a point on the line. A good starting point would be to write down the area in terms of a formula. ##A=\frac{1}{2}bh##.

    You have two unknowns, so you need another equation so you can substitute variables to solve for the other.

    Think about slope.

    Edit: That might have been too vague. How can you relate x and y together using slope? Then use that relationship in the area formula to solve for x and y.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2013
  4. Dec 28, 2013 #3


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    You know x1=2 and y1=1. Plug in these data into the formula y-y1=m(x-x1) *

    Denote the X-intercept by a and the Y intercept by b. How do you get the shaded area in terms of a and b?

    You get equations for a and b in terms of m by substituting (a,0) and (0,b) into eq. *.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?
Draft saved Draft deleted