Pythagoras theorem is a rule create by the Greek mathematician and philosopher Pythagoras of Samos. This rule allows us to find missing lengths in of right angled triangle. The formula states that:The letters a, b and c represent the lengths of the triangle. C is the hypotenuse while a & b are the two other sides. We can alsomodify the formula so that we can use the hypotenuse (c) and another side to find one of the smaller sides. However, forthis to work, the triangle has to be a right angled triangle.Have a look at the example underneath. One use the normal and one the reverse Pythagoras theorem formula.
Example 1In this first example, we know that side a is 7 cm long and that side b is 5 cm long. We will use Pythagoras Theorem to find the length of the hypotenuse (c).By substituting 7 and 5 into the equation and then solving it we have have found the length of c. We have square rooted 74; in some cases it may be better to give your answer in square root form as it is more accurate.
Example 2In this example, we will use the reverse formula to find the length of b.Using the reverse formula, we were able to find the length of b: 8cm. We substituted 10 and 6 into the formula to find length b. In this case, we got a whole number answer.
Trigonometry is a bit more complex but it allows you to find both angles and lengths of sides in a range of situations. You should have a look at our trigonometry lessons to develop your maths skills. You can also select a completely different topic by looking at our library. Please share this page if you like it or found it helpful!
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