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- How Much Material to Purchase? [11/01/1997]
Sanchez warehouse wants to install a 3-foot wide ramp from the level
floor to the top of the 4-foot high platform...
- Importance of Surface Area [05/26/2001]
Why is surface area so important? What kinds of things depend on surface
- Indirect Measurements and Hubble's Constant [01/31/2003]
How are indirect measurements used in astronomy? For example, how can
scientists tell how far the Earth is from Pluto?
- Kitchen Tabletop [11/21/2001]
I need to determine the correct pivot point...
- Land Plot Area [08/28/2002]
I have a parcel of land. The surveyor has determined it to be
624,630.88 square ft. and 14.340 acres. The legal description is 15.8
acres. How can I figure out the square footage?
- Latitude and Longitude and Daylight Hours [09/21/1998]
Is there a formula for calculating the number of hours of daylight, given
the latitude and longitude of a point on the globe?
- The Law of Margins [9/2/1996]
How do I figure out the margins of my mat using the Golden Ratio?
- Length of a Roll of Carpet [08/21/1997]
How can you determine the length of a roll of carpet without uncoiling
- Length of Cable on a Reel [05/07/2003]
What is the formula used to determine the length of cable on a reel?
- Length of Coiled Belt [04/11/2003]
Working with conveyor belts we use a formula that gives a very close
approximation of the length of a coil of belt, but I would like to
- Linear and Board Feet [01/04/1999]
Can you explain the terms linear foot and board foot as they are used in
the lumber industry?
- Liquid in an Elliptical Tank [02/28/1999]
Given any height of liquid, say 3 ft., how can I calculate the volume?
- Locating a Ship Using Three Angles [07/07/1999]
A ship's navigator saw landmarks in the distance at points A, B, and C,
found angles ASB, BSC and CSA, then located the three points on a map to
find the exact position of her ship. How did she do it?
- Location of Plane Flying on Great Circle [11/20/2003]
An aircraft flies from 60°N 030°W to 60°N 030°W following a great
circle. When 025°W is passed, what will the plane's latitude be?
- Longest Ladder [11/30/2001]
Two hallways, one 8 ft. wide and other 4 ft. wide, meet to form a right
angle. What is the longest ladder that can go around the corner where the
- Longitude-Latitude Product and Distance [02/14/2001]
Is the difference between the product of the longitude and latitude of
one point and that of another point related to the distance between them?
- Making a Pool Tarp [9/27/1995]
I'm trying to construct a pool frame out of pvc that will be placed over
a pool. We already have the pool tarp, but we need to build something
that will shed water so it has to have a slope. PVC only comes in 90
degree and 45 degree angles and straight sections. How do I figure out
the maximum height the frame can stick straight up in the air to utilize
- Making Labels for Cones [06/26/1997]
How do you make a label that will fit on a yogurt container without
- Math and Catapults [04/30/2003]
How do you use math while operating a catapult?
- Maximizing the Volume of a Box [06/27/1999]
I have a piece of glass that is 14" by 72". What dimensions would I need
to make a glass cage with maximum volume?
- Maximizing Volume of a Cereal Box [07/08/1999]
Why are cereal boxes the size they are? Is it just to maximize volume?
- Measuring a Cylinder for Out of Round Dimensions [03/23/2005]
If I measure a cylinder for roundness with a standard OD micrometer I
find a 0.008' difference at 0 degrees and 90 degrees. If I use a 3
point ('V') micrometer I find a 0.001' difference at the same two
positions. Why are they different? Which is better?
- Measuring Distances in Space [06/02/2008]
How can we measure the distance from Earth to Mars accurately? Space
is infinite--how can you measure something that is always moving?
- Minding the Gaps of Picket Fencing [03/17/2012]
Landscaping a fence leads to fractional pickets and frustration. After diagramming a
bird's eye view of a model fence line, Doctor Peterson applies some algebra to the key
insight: in a straight run of fencing, the spaces between the pickets outnumber the
pickets by one.
- Miter Angle of a Pipe [02/10/1999]
Find the miter angle of a pipe of certain shape.
- Miter for a Pyramid [07/31/1997]
I want to construct a 4-sided pyramid out of glass for a garden fountain.
I need to know the degree of miter to put on the edges of the uprights of
- Name of Truncated Circle [12/29/2003]
What is the name of a rectangle with two rounded ends, like a circle
with top and bottom evenly truncated? For example, an 'oval' racetrack
with two straightaways on opposite sides, parallel to each other and
both of the same length. I know that's not really an oval, but I'm
not sure what else to call it!
- New TV, Different Aspect Ratio ... Same Height? [01/04/2010]
"What size HD TV do I buy so that its screen is at least as tall as my
old TV's was?" Doctor Rick provides some consumer guidance by calling
on the Pythagorean Theorem and television industry aspect ratios; then
explains how a trigonometric approach arrived at the same conclusion.
- Oil Can Dimensions [12/11/2001]
What are the dimensions of an oil can with a one-liter capacity that uses
the least amount of tin?
- Optimization [11/26/1996]
To make a funnel, we take a circular piece of metal, cut out a sector,
and connect the two radial edges together to make an open cone. What
should the angle of the sector be to maximize the volume of the cone?
- Painting a Column [07/13/1997]
If I have a column 9.5' long and 8'' in diameter, how do I figure out how
much paint I need to cover the outside area?
- Parabolas in Everyday Life [05/18/2001]
What types of things have been made using parabola shapes?
- Parabolic Equation of an Arch [05/25/1998]
Finding the equation of the parabola in the McDonald's golden arches.
- Pattern for Lampshade [02/17/2001]
I would like to know the formula for computing the surface area of a lamp
shade so that I can make a pattern from it.
- Perimeter of Octagon [04/02/1997]
What is the perimeter of a an octagonal garden with a diameter of six
- Pipe Needed for Natural Gas Line [09/03/1997]
Two houses are 130 metres apart at distances of 55 and 105 metres...
- Pixels in a Triangle [08/02/1999]
How can I find the number of pixels inside a triangle?
- Planar Approximation: Latitude and Longitude [04/18/2003]
I am trying to calculate the midpoint between cases of legionella and
their nearest neighbor. How can I calculate the distance between two
points below which they can be treated as if they were in a plane
rather than on a sphere?
- A Practical Use for the Orthocenter [03/07/2001]
Does the orthocenter of a triangle have any practical uses?
- Pyramid Construction [05/24/1997]
How do you figure out the angles necessary to construct a pyramid out of