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Finding angle and length of a post out of alignment using Geometry.

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A 5 foot post is supposed to be vertical, but it is 4 inches out of alignment at the top.

A-What is the angle of lean, round to the nearest tenth of a degree?

B-How high does it reach, round to the nearest hundredth of an inch?

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Solution Preview

The best first step with word problems is to draw a picture so that you can visualize the problem. I have attached a picture.

Figure 1: What the pole (blue line) should look like if it was not leaning.

Figure 2: An exaggerated version of what the pole looks like when it is 4 inches out of alignment with the vertical (black dotted line). There are two things that should be noted. One: the pole is still 5 ft in length because nothing has happened in order for the pole to change length. Two: The triangle created is in fact a right triangle.

Important: Before proceeding to the calculations, it is important to use the same units for length. You can either use inches or feet, but not ...

Solution Summary

A step-by-step explanation of how to find the angle of lean and height of the post when it is out of alignment with the vertical. A picture is included to help visualize the problem.