Our teacher set us this problem: A triangle has corners A, B and T. I used sin because side BT is opposite, but when I calculated 12×sin35°, I got the wrong answer. Where have I gone wrong? |
The very first thing to do in a problem like this is to draw a
diagram,
marking on the values you know. Call the unknown
length "x".
You know an angle, you know the opposite side and you want the
hypotenuse.
So use the standard formula
and replace the known quantities, giving:
Now the unknown quantity is on the bottom of the
fraction,
so multiply both sides by x:
Finally, to obtain the value of x, divide both sides
by 0.574
The length of AT is therefore 20.9 metres (to 1 d.p.)
You made the same mistake that many people make.
When the
unknown quantity "x" is on the bottom of the
fraction, you must do two steps: