One side of a rectangle is three times the other. If the perimeter increases by 2%, what is the percentage increase in area?
I've started with these few lines:
Perimeter, P = 2x + 2x + x + x = 8x
Area, 3x^2 = 3(p^2)/64
delta P= 2%
delta A = dA/dP . delta P
delta A = 3/64 (2p). 2%
The answer is 4% but it doesn't look like delta A will be 4%!
Any clues where I went wrong? Thanks.
- The percentage increase in a quantity is the actual increase divided by the original amount, multiplied by 100. So you should have , or %, not %.
- Since the rectangle always has the same shape, its area is proportional to the square of the length of one of its sides, and therefore is proportional to the square of its perimeter. So .
Differentiating this we get:
So if %, then %.
In fact, it's even easier without calculus. Note that, if the lengths of corresponding sides of two similar shapes are in the ratio , then their areas are in the ratio .
A 2% increase in the length means an increase in the ratio ; so the area increases in the ratio , or 4.04%.
This has the added advantage of being an exact answer, whereas the calculus method gives only an approximation.
, where is a constant.
Using your original method, you (correctly) got
As you'll see from my working, is eliminated in the subsequent equations, so you didn't really need to evaluate it.