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Math Help - Related Rates problem

  1. #1
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    Related Rates problem

    An aircraft is flying at a constant altitude with a constant speed of 600 mi/hr. An antiaircraft missile is fire on a straight line to the flight path of the aircraft so that it will hit the aircraft at point P. Suppose that the angle between the flight paths from point P is 120 degrees. At the instant the aircraft is 2 miles from the impact point P, the missile is 4 miles from P and flying at 1200 mi/hr. At that instant, how rapidly is the distance between the missile and the aircraft decreasing?


    I think that I need to use the law of cosines.
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  2. #2
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    Yes that is correct.

    All you have to do is use the law of cosines to find out what the distance between the plane and missile is when they are 2 and 4 miles away, respectively, from point P, then you just need to differentiate the law of cosines, plug everything in, and solve!
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  3. #3
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    Thanx a lot. I got an answer that seems correct. I used 30-60-90 triangle relationships to get a value for the hypotenuse
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  4. #4
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    But it's not a 30-60-90 triangle...
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