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    Formulate the problem of finding shortest ladder

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    A box of dimensions a x b is standing against a wall that a ladder must lean up against, as shown in the attached picture of the scenario.

    Formulate the problem of finding the shortest ladder and then solve it.

    See the attached file.

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    Solution Preview

    Referring to the diagram (temp.JPG) giving side projection of situation, the given problem can be translated as finding the shortest line in first quadrant, that ends at x axis and y axis and passes through point (a,b). In further discussion ladder and line are used interchangeably to mean the same.

    Let us say that the (ladder) line endpoints are (A,0) and (0,B), then we can say following about it.

    Slope of line (m)
    = (B - 0) / ...

    Solution Summary

    Solution aims at guiding the reader and explains the problem formulation and solution in detailed and stepwise manner.