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Math Help - Angle of Elevation

  1. #1
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    Angle of Elevation

    A driveway is built on a slant where it rises 3m over a distance of 20m, what is the angle of elevation with the ground?

    I'm not sure if the 20m should be the adjacent leg or the hypotenuse.
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  2. #2
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    e^(i*pi)'s Avatar
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    I would say it's the adjacent side, it would be unusual to describe the hypoteneuse when it would be much easier to describe the adjacent
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Naples View Post
    A driveway is built on a slant where it rises 3m over a distance of 20m, what is the angle of elevation with the ground?

    I'm not sure if the 20m should be the adjacent leg or the hypotenuse.
    This is a Building Construction problem.
    ALL dimensions are given as horizontal & vertical - or vertical & horizontal - NEVER diagonal.
    Stair Step: tread & riser
    Roof Pitch: Horizontal Distance & Vertical Distance
    Sewer Flow: 1% (translates to 1 foot vertical drop per 100 feet horizontal travel).

    These are the easiest methods to layout & build.
    Most carpenters use the slope/hypotenuse ONLY as a check -- never to setup to build.

    In your question you are give the vertical rise over a horizontal distance.
    The 20m is the adjacent side.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member pacman's Avatar
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    "A driveway is built on a slant where it rises 3m over a distance of 20m, what is the angle of elevation with the ground?I'm not sure if the 20m should be the adjacent leg or the hypotenuse."

    in a civil engineer arena, you do measure base and height

    grade = y/x = height/base

    height = 3 m

    base = 20

    not necessary: slant height = sqrt (20^2 + 3^2) = sqrt 409 = 20.22375 m

    angle of elevation = arctan (grade) = arctan (y/x) = arctan(height/base) = ?

    you may read this: Grades, Highway | Macmillan Mathematics Summary

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