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Math Help - Related Rates of Change

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Related Rates of Change

    A 7m ladder against a wall is shown when the foot of the ladder starts to slip away from the wall at 0.1 meters per second.

    1. Find the rate at which the top of the ladder slides down the wall
    2. Find this rate when:
    a) the foot of the ladder is 3m away from the wall
    b) the top is 4m above the ground

    This question has me a little confused. I think Pythagoras is involved to some extent, but i really have no idea how to get the answer even started. If anyone could provide some assistance, that would be great.
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  2. #2
    MHF Contributor
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    Is Pythagoras on the ladder?

    If W = Horizontal Distance from the Wall to the base of the ladder
    If H = Vertical distance from the ground to the top of the ladder

    We have W^{2} + H^{2} = (7m)^{2}

    There is your Greek friend. Now what?
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