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Math Help - Rate of change question

  1. #1
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    Rate of change question

    A ladder 5m long leans against a vertical wall. The bottom of the ladder is pulled along the ground away from the wall at a constant rate of 0.5 m/s.

    How fast will the top of the ladder be falling at the instant it is 2m above the ground?

    Can anyone guide me. Thank you.
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  2. #2
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Re: Rate of change question

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelLight View Post
    A ladder 5m long leans against a vertical wall. The bottom of the ladder is pulled along the ground away from the wall at a constant rate of 0.5 m/s.

    How fast will the top of the ladder be falling at the instant it is 2m above the ground?

    Can anyone guide me. Thank you.
    If y denotes the height at which the ladder touches the wall and x the distance of the foot of the ladder is from the wall then by Pythagoras's theorem:

    x^2+y^2=5^2

    You are being asked to find dy/dt when y=2 and you are told that dx/dt=0.5 (distances in metres and times in seconds).

    CB
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