Two pens with one common side are to be built with 60m of fencing. One pen is to be square, and the other rectangular. Find the dimensions that maximize the total area.

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- Mar 25th 2013, 03:10 PM #1

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- Mar 25th 2013, 03:40 PM #2
## Re: Help Please.

Call x the side length of the square. Since the two pens have to share a common side, that means one side length of the rectangle will also be x. Call the other length y.

Since you know that you have 60m of fencing, that means 5x + 2y = 60. From here we can get y = -(5/2)x + 30.

Now get an expression for the total area and use calculus to find the maximum (i.e. derivative = 0, second derivative negative at that point).

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