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Math Help - Tricky question..

  1. #1
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    Post Tricky question..

    Evening Forum I have a interesting word problem..

    What's the difference between saying "The thicker a beam is, the stronger it is." and saying "The strength of a beam varies directly as its thickness."?


    any comments ?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlgebraicallyChallenged View Post
    Evening Forum I have a interesting word problem..

    What's the difference between saying "The thicker a beam is, the stronger it is." and saying "The strength of a beam varies directly as its thickness."?


    any comments ?
    Well "The thicker a beam is, the stronger it is" is very vague. It doesn't express the relationship between thickness and strength very precisely. For example, does it mean exponentially proportional? Increasing the thickness a LITTLE may increase the strength A LOT. This is exponential proportionality.

    However, the 2nd statement is a statement of direct proportionality. If strength = S, and thickness = T, then the 2nd statement says  S = kT where k is some constant! This means that if you change S, then T change proportionally!

    So all in all. The first statement does not specify how proportionally one variable changes to another, but the 2nd statement does!
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