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Math Help - A word problem

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Joined
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    53

    A word problem

    Here is the question...

    Fire towers are often built in forest areas because rapid spotting of a fire means that there is a chance of controlling the fire. While at the top of a 100 m tower, Jay spotted a fire towards Odessa. He noted that the angle of depression was 14. How far was the fire from the base of the tower?

    Any and instructions on how to solve this problem would be appreciated. (I prefer step by step if you can break it down in this particular manner.)
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  2. #2
    Newbie
    Joined
    Apr 2012
    From
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5

    Re: A word problem

    Make a picture of a right triangle where the vertical side is 100 m (the tower) and the opposite angle is 14. Make the horizontal side x m long.

    You know the Tan = (length of side opposite to angle)/(length of side adjacent to angle) so
    tan(14)=100m/x with some algebra x = (100m)/(tan(14)) = 401.1m
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