Triangle Altitude and Area
Date: 03/07/99 at 03:07:02 From: Michelle Cheung Subject: Altitude of a triangle In triangle PQR, angle Q is obtuse, PQ = 11, QR = 25, and PR = 30. Find the altitude to line PQ; find the area of PQR.
Date: 03/07/99 at 03:29:50 From: Doctor Pat Subject: Re: Altitude of a triangle You are given three sides of a triangle. You can use Heron's formula to find the area. Once you know the area you know that for any base, 1/2 the base times the height is also the area. Since the altitude to PQ is requested, let PQ be the base. The height you find goes perpendicular to PQ up to vertex R. If you do not know Heron's formula here it is: Find the perimeter of the triangle and divide by two. This is called the semi-perimeter, S. In your problem it is (11+25+30)/2 = 33. Now you need to subtract each side one at a time from S (to be brief I will use a, b, and c for the lengths of the three sides) S - a = 33 - 30 = 3 S - b = 33 - 25 = 8 S - c = 33 - 11 = 22. Now use these three numbers and S, multiply them all together, and find the square root. This is the area. Area = sqrt(S (S - a)(S - b)(S - c)) Now since area = 1/2 B * h plug in this value for the area, and 11 for the base, and solve for h, and you are done. - Doctor Pat, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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