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A man is 6ft tall and is walking at night straight toward a lighted street lamp at a rate of 5 ft/sec. If the lamp is 20 ft above the ground, find the rate at which the length of his shadow is changing.

  • Calculus -

    If the man is x away from the lamp, and his shadow is s,

    s/6 = (x+s)/20
    s = 3/7 x


    ds/dt = 3/7 * dx/dt = 3/7 (-5) = -15/7 ft/s

  • Calculus -

    I don't know if this is right because if you are using x for the distance the man is away from the light post then you cant set x equal to the rate at which the man is walking.

  • Calculus -

    You are correct. However, dx/dt is the rate he is walking away. That is the value I used.

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