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Math Help - The fireman's problem (optimization)

  1. #1
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    The fireman's problem (optimization)

    A fence a feet high is b feet from a high burning building. Find the length of the shortest ladder that will reach from the ground across the top of the fence to the building.

    I have the picture set up and now I'm stuck. I know that I have to express the ladder in terms of x and I'm pretty sure that it involves similar triangles. Thanks.

    and sorry for double posting. I just really need help with this.
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by elitespart View Post
    A fence a feet high is b feet from a high burning building. Find the length of the shortest ladder that will reach from the ground across the top of the fence to the building.

    I have the picture set up and now I'm stuck. I know that I have to express the ladder in terms of x and I'm pretty sure that it involves similar triangles. Thanks.

    and sorry for double posting. I just really need help with this.
    Double posting is not a way of getting faster help. All it does is create a situation where people can end up wasting their valuable time (given for free at MHF) replying to a question that's already been solved elsewhere.
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  3. #3
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    Alright sorry I don't go on forums much. Didn't know it was such a big deal. Can someone please just point me in the right direction?
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