1) Describe the curve traced out by a point 2 feet from the top of an 8-foot ladder as the bottom of the ladder moves away from a vertical wall.
Take the origin to be at the base of the wall. When the ladder makes an angle with the wall, the coordinates (x,y) of the point 2 feet from the top of the ladder are . (Draw a diagram to make sure that you understand why that is.) Thus and . Now use the fact that to get an equation connecting x and y.
Last edited by Opalg; Nov 27th 2010 at 05:57 AM.
Reason: Corrected serious mistake