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Line Segment Representing Sqrt(3)

Date: 10/07/2002 at 20:41:13
From: Frank DiMora
Subject: How to draw a line segment in relation to square roots

Dr. Math,

Our math teacher asked us to draw a line segment that represents 
radical 3. I've tried to figure this problem out, but I can't seem to 
find a logical answer. Could you please help?

Frank DiMora - Auburn High School; Math

Date: 10/08/2002 at 15:12:35
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: How to draw a line segment in relation to square roots

Hi Frank,

There are a couple of ways you might approach this, depending on how 
loosely you want to interpret the word 'represents'. Suppose you draw 
a square of any size, and assert that the area of the square is 3 
units. Then what will the length of any one side be? 

Or, you might try this.  Draw a right triangle like this:

   2 / | ?
    /  |

What does the Pythagorean theorem tell you about the length of 
the unlabeled side? 

Does this help? 

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum 
Associated Topics:
Middle School Number Sense/About Numbers
Middle School Square Roots

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