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He stands at some distance from the tree and determines that the angle of elevation to the top of the tree is 40°. He moves 30′ closer to the tree, and now the angle of elevation is 50°. If the woodcutter's eyes are 5′ above the ground, how tall is the tree? Figure 5 can help you visualize the problem.

**Figure 5 Drawing for Example 5.
**

From the small right triangle and from the large right triangle, the following relationships are evident:

Substituting the first equation in the second yields:

Note that 5′ must be added to the value of x to get the height of the tree, or 90.06′ tall. Example 6: Using Figure 6 , find the length of sides x and y and the area of the large triangle.

. Examples with detailed solutions and explanations are included. If the triangle is divided into two right triangles. the values of x and y are the same. the base of each will be 6. Solve Right Triangle Problems This is a tutorial on right triangles problems.Problem 1: Find sin(x) and cos(x) in the right triangle shown below. and equal sides are opposite equal angles. Because this is an isosceles triangle.Figure 6 Drawing for Example 6. Example . Therefore.

Find the distance from point A to the center of the circle in terms of x and r.Solution to Problem 1: 1.6 Example . h = SQRT(62 + 82) = SQRT(36 + 64) = 10 2.Problem 2: Two lines tangent to a circle at points M and N have a point of intersection A. In a right triangle. sin(x) = 8 / 10 = 0.8 3. First use the Pythagorean theorem to find the hypotenuse h of the right triangle. and cos(x) is given by cos(x) = 6 / 10 = 0. The size of angle MAN is equal to x degrees and the length of the radius of the circle is equal to r. sin(x) is given by. .

Solution to Problem 2: 1. A line through the center C of the circle and a point of tangency to the circle is perpendicular to the tangent line. hence the right angles at M and N in the figure below. Tringles MAC and NAC are congruent right triangles. tan(x/2) is given by. tan(x/2) = r / d(NA) . 2. where d(NA) = .

Substitute d(NA) by r / tan(x/2) to obtain d(AC). 3. Factor r2 d(AC) = SQRT[ r2(1 + 1 / tan(x/2)2] 7. x is the size of angle BAC.Problem 3: Two right triangles have side a in common. Find tan(x). a = 15 * tan(410) 3. solve for d(NA) d(NA) = r / tan(x/2) 4. We now use the right triangle on the . Solution to Problem 3: 1. We first use the right triangle on the right to find a tan(410) = a / 15 2. a is given by. Simplify d(AC) = r SQRT[ 1 + 1 / tan(x/2)2] Example . d(AC) = SQRT[ r2 + (r / tan(x/2))2] 6. Use the pythagorean theorem in the right triangle NAC to find the distance d(AC) d(AC) = SQRT[ r2 + d(NA)2] 5.distance between points A and N.

left to find tan(x). tan(x) = a / 10 4. Substitute a by 15 * tan(410) in the above. Points A. Solve the above for x . an observer notes that the angle of elevation of the top of a tower (C. Find the height h of the tower in terms of d and angles a and b. and in the right triangle BCD we have tan(b) = h / x 3. The distance between A and B is d. Which gives tan(x) = 1.5 * tan(410) Example . B and C (the bottom of the tower) are collinear.Problem 4: From point A. Let x be the distance between points B and C. Solution to Problem 4: 1. tan(x) = 15 * tan(410) / 10 5.D) is a (degrees) and from point B the angle of elevation is b (degrees). hence in the right triangle ACD we have tan(a) = h / (d + x) 2.

Solve tan(a) = h / (d + x) for h h = (d + x) tan(a) 5.x = h / tan(b) 4. h = d tan(a) tan(b) / [ tan(b) . Triangle Problems .tan(a)] More references on solving triangle problems. Substitute x in above by h / tan(b) h = (d + h / tan(b)) tan(a) 6. Solve the above for h to obtain.

Triangle Problems

Triangle Problems

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