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Math Help - Related Rates Question...

  1. #1
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    Related Rates Question...

    I can't seem to get this question...:

    A ladder of length L standing on level ground is leaning against a vertical wall. The base of the ladder begins to slide away from the wall. What is the equation of the path followed by any point of the ladder? (Hint: let the distance from the top of the ladder to the point in question be K).

    The answer is x^2/K^2 + y^2/(L-K)^2=1
    ...how?!

    Thanks for your help
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  2. #2
    Eater of Worlds
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    The path the point follows describes an ellipse.

    Notice the equation is the equation of an ellipse.

    See here: http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/Ca...SlidingLadder/
    Last edited by galactus; March 6th 2009 at 06:35 PM.
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