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Homework Help: Trigonometry and figuring out the length of the hypotenuse

  1. Sep 2, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A monkey is chained to a stake in the ground. The stake is 2.15 m from a vertical pole, and the chain is 4.50 m long. How high can the monkey climb up the pole?
    The answer is given in meters
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 2, 2012 #2


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    Homework Helper

    What attempt have you made? Which trig function do you think should be used?
  4. Sep 2, 2012 #3
    I was not too sure where to start. I know that I have both of the lengths but I am confused about how to approach the problem
  5. Sep 2, 2012 #4
    try drawing a picture and labeling the parts and looking at the various angles in the problem
  6. Sep 2, 2012 #5
    okay so i have a right triangle and is the height that can be climbed the hypotenuse?
  7. Sep 2, 2012 #6
    the hypotenuse would probably be the length of the chain, since I would imagine the 90 degree angle in this right triangle would be the angle between the pole and the ground
  8. Sep 2, 2012 #7
    Welcome to PF.
    This problem can be solved with just algebra and the Pythagorean theorem.
    The monkey walks over 2.15 m from the stake to the pole (x-axis).
    The monkey climbs up the pole an unknown amount (y-axis).
    The maximum chain length is 4.50 m (hypotenuse).
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