Posted by david on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 1:35am.
A ladder resting against the side of a building reaches 32 ft up the building. If the ladder is 40 ft long, how far from the building is the base of the ladder?

Pythagorean Theorem  Nat, Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 2:28am
Draw the problem out, with a ladder leaning against the wall, and label the respective lengths. You will notice it forms a rightangle triangle, with the ladder as the hypotenuse.
So the theorem is
a^2+b^2 =c^2
where c represents the ladder length (the hypotenuse), and so a can represent the distance of the ladder from the base of the building (the answer), and b is where the ladder reaches on the building.
Therefore,
a^2+32^2=40^2
Since a is what we need, rearrange the above formula to solve for a and you will get your answer. (Remember the units ft) 
Pythagorean Theorem  david, Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 2:20pm
24 ft

Pythagorean Theorem  violet, Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 10:07pm
The doorway of the family room measures 6 1/2 feet by 3 feet. What is the length of the diagonal of the doorway?