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Thread: A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle

  1. #1
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    A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle

    The following question is being asked at a tech conference that I'm at, and it's giving me a headache. I'm a curious person by nature, so I'd love if someone could walk me through the process of solving the problem!

    Thanks in advance for any help!
    A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle-image1.jpg
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  2. #2
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    Re: A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle

    Let's try to coordinatize the problem (you don't need to do it this way, but it will help me). The center of the semicircle will be the origin (0,0). That means the border of the semicircle has the formula $y = \sqrt{25-x^2}$.

    Here are the coordinates for points A,B,C,D,E:
    $A (-5,0)$
    $B (-5,10)$
    $C (5,10)$
    $D (5,0)$
    $E (0,5)$

    So, we just need to find point $F$. We know that the slope of the line $CF$ is equal to the slope of the tangent line at $F$. Suppose $F (a,b)$. Then we have:

    $y'(a) = \dfrac{10-y(a)}{5-a}$

    Let's plug in and try to solve for $a$:
    $y'(a) = -\dfrac{a}{\sqrt{25-a^2}} = \dfrac{10-\sqrt{25-a^2}}{5-a}$

    Cross multiplying gives:

    $a(a-5) = 10\sqrt{25-a^2}-(25-a^2)$
    $a^2-5a = 10\sqrt{25-a^2}-25+a^2$
    $25-5a = 10\sqrt{25-a^2}$

    Squaring both sides gives:

    $625-250a+25a^2 = 100(25-a^2)$
    $125a^2-250a-1875 = 0$
    $a^2-2a-15 = 0$
    $(a-5)(a+3) = 0$
    $a=5$ or $a=-3$

    $x = a=-3$ is the only solution that makes sense. Now $y = \sqrt{25-a^2} = \sqrt{25-9} = 4$ gives us the $y$ coordinate. So, $F$ is the point $(-3,4)$.

    Finally, we plug into the area formula (given coordinates):

    Area of $DEF$:
    $\left|\dfrac{D_x(E_y-F_y)+E_x(F_y-D_y)+F_x(D_y-E_y)}{2}\right| = \left|\dfrac{5(5-4)+0(4-0)-3(0-5)}{2}\right| = 10$
    Last edited by SlipEternal; Jun 13th 2017 at 08:24 AM.
    Thanks from brasicl1
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    Re: A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle

    Corrected a typo.
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    Re: A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle

    Very thorough! Thanks a lot!
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  5. #5
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    Re: A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle

    bunch of similar triangles ...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A tough (for me) math problem, find area of triangle-area_triangle.jpg  
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