# Right Triangle: finding length of sides with only one variable?

• Oct 10th 2011, 10:26 AM
azjay
Right Triangle: finding length of sides with only one variable?
Is it possible to determine the length of BOTH the opposite and adjacent sides of a right triangle knowing ONLY the length of the hypotenuse and no angles (except for the right angle of course)?
• Oct 10th 2011, 10:51 AM
TheEmptySet
Re: Right Triangle: finding length of sides with only one variable?
Quote:

Originally Posted by azjay
Is it possible to determine the length of BOTH the opposite and adjacent sides of a right triangle knowing ONLY the length of the hypotenuse and no angles (except for the right angle of course)?

No. Make a diagram and label the sides of your triangle and use the pythagorean theorem. This will give you a relationship between the sides. Any "pair" of sides that satisfy that equation will make a right triangle.
• Oct 10th 2011, 12:57 PM
Wilmer
Re: Right Triangle: finding length of sides with only one variable?
16,63,65
25,60,65
33,56,65
39,52,65
• Oct 10th 2011, 02:39 PM
azjay
Re: Right Triangle: finding length of sides with only one variable?
Quote:

Originally Posted by Wilmer
16,63,65
25,60,65
33,56,65
39,52,65

adjacent, opposite, hypotenuse? Assuming 65 was hypotenuse, how did you get these values basically?
• Oct 10th 2011, 04:51 PM
Wilmer
Re: Right Triangle: finding length of sides with only one variable?
Quote:

Originally Posted by azjay
adjacent, opposite, hypotenuse? Assuming 65 was hypotenuse, how did you get these values basically?

"adjacent, opposite" of no significance; both are the "legs", usually denoted as a and b; c being the hypotenuse.
a^2 + b^2 = c^2. Look up right triangles and/or pythagorean theorem.
• Oct 10th 2011, 05:00 PM
TheChaz
Re: Right Triangle: finding length of sides with only one variable?
Quote:

Originally Posted by azjay
Is it possible to determine the length of BOTH the opposite and adjacent sides of a right triangle knowing ONLY the length of the hypotenuse and no angles (except for the right angle of course)?

No. Go lean a ladder against a wall!