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Math Help - Very basic trig problem

  1. #1
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    Very basic trig problem

    I understand that c^2 = a^2+b^2

    Now I have this problem, find the missing a,b or c length.

    a=\sqrt{2}, b=\sqrt{2}

    So I say that a^2=4, b^2=4, c^2=8

    or am I doing it wrong?

    If not then I get confused on this next question.

    a=\sqrt{8}, c=3

    a^2=64, c^2=9 but how can c^2 = a^2+b^2 in this question?
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  2. #2
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    Re: Very basic trig problem

    The square of the square root of 2 is 2, not four.

    The square of the square root of 8 is 8, not 64.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Very basic trig problem

    I know but if the square root of 8 is 8, then 8^2 must equal 64. Isn't the square root the opposite of squared?
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  4. #4
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    Re: Very basic trig problem

    The square root of 8 is not 8. The square root of 8 is 2 times the square root of two.

    You seem to be reading "a = square root of 8" as "a squared = 8".

    In you "a = " statements, try squaring both sides. Maybe that'll make it clearer.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Very basic trig problem

    This academic difficult for me really good



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