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Advanced Math/Algebra Question


- Determine the perimeter of the trapezoid if the top base is "3x+2" cm, the bottom base is "5x-4" cm, and the "height" is "5 cm".

The perimeter is just the sum of the 4 lengths of the trapezoid (2 bases and 2 sides). . We need to specify the 2 slanted sides connecting the top and bottom bases. Let the top base be smaller than the bottom base so that

top base + bottom base = 5x-4 + 3x+2 = 8x-2.

The Pythagorean Thm is used to calulate the slanted sides, s1 and s2, as given in the attached image. Then

perimeter = 8x-2 + s1 + s2.

Note that a numerical value for the perimeter cannot be calculated unless either s1, s2, d1 or d2 is specified.


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randy patton


college mathematics, applied math, advanced calculus, complex analysis, linear and abstract algebra, probability theory, signal processing, undergraduate physics, physical oceanography


26 years as a professional scientist conducting academic quality research on mostly classified projects involving math/physics modeling and simulation, data analysis and signal processing, instrument development; often ocean related

J. Physical Oceanography, 1984 "A Numerical Model for Low-Frequency Equatorial Dynamics", with M. Cane

M.S. MIT Physical Oceanography, B.S. UC Berkeley Applied Math

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