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Question from a non calculator paper

 

The hypotenuse of a triangle is 15cm.  Calculate the length of the shortest side.

 

How?

 

Thanks

 May 28, 2018
 #1
avatar+7445 
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Firstly, the word "hypotenuse" is defined by "the longest side of a right triangle". Therefore the word hypotenuse implies that the triangle is a right triangle.

 

However, the condition is not enough to solve the problem. The shortest side can be infinitesimally close to 0 and the other leg of the right triangle can be infinitesimally close to 15 without another bound.

 

I assume the problem is asking about the smallest number of a Pythagorean triple with greatest number "15". If so, the answer will be (9,12,15), where the length of shortest side is 9.

 May 28, 2018

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