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Topic: Ladder against a box problem
Replies: 28   Last Post: Jun 27, 2014 3:55 PM

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 Dave Rove Posts: 8 Registered: 6/20/14
Posted: Jun 20, 2014 8:13 AM

I was asked to help with a problem-solving night for the local scout
troop, and one of the problems was the well-known (so I now understand)
problem of finding the height above ground of a 5m ladder pushed up
against a 1m square-section box against a wall. The scouts were expected
to solve this with a scale drawing, which they did, but I had a go a
solving it mathematically, which I failed to do in the time available.

\
| |\ \
| | \ \
| | \ \
| | \ \
| | \ h
x | \ \
| |______\ \
| | 1 |\ \
| | 1 1| \ \
| |______|__\
1

I've since web-searched for solutions, and found some numerical solutions
for a 5m ladder, which as an exercise, I tried to convert into a short
Python program to give a solution for a ladder of any specified length,
but discovered that wasn't so easy because the algebraic solutions that I
found seemed to depend on the ladder being of length 5.

Can it be reduced to an equation, or a short sequence of equations?

Date Subject Author
6/20/14 Dave Rove
6/20/14 Robin Chapman
6/20/14 Port563
6/22/14 Dr J R Stockton
6/27/14 Phil Carmody
6/20/14 Dirk Van de moortel
6/20/14 Dirk Van de moortel
6/20/14 Dave Rove
6/20/14 Peter Percival
6/20/14 Dave Rove
6/20/14 Dirk Van de moortel
6/20/14 Dave Rove
6/20/14 Dirk Van de moortel
6/20/14 Port563
6/20/14 Math Lover
6/20/14 Port563
6/20/14 Christopher J. Henrich
6/21/14 Dirk Van de moortel
6/21/14 Port563
6/21/14 ross.finlayson@gmail.com
6/21/14 Port563
6/22/14 Dave Rove
6/22/14 Port563
6/22/14 Virgil
6/24/14 Michael J. Strickland
6/21/14 William Elliot
6/21/14 Karl-Olav Nyberg
6/21/14 Karl-Olav Nyberg
6/21/14 William Elliot