Question Video: Applying the Pythagorean Theorem to Solve More Complex Problems Mathematics • 11th Grade

Given that ๐ด๐ต = 20, find the length of line segment ๐‘‚๐ด.

02:24

Video Transcript

Given that ๐ด๐ต equals 20, find the length of line segment ๐‘‚๐ด.

In the figure, we have a circle which contains a right triangle. The length ๐ด๐ต, which weโ€™re given has a length of 20 length units, is the hypotenuse of this right triangle. Weโ€™re asked to calculate the length of the line segment ๐‘‚๐ด, which is one of the shorter sides in the right triangle. We can use the Pythagorean theorem to help us find a missing length in a right triangle. This theorem tells us that, in any right triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides.

In this problem, however, we want to find the length of ๐‘‚๐ด. But we only know the length of one of the other sides, the hypotenuse. We donโ€™t know the length of the line segment ๐‘‚๐ต. But we can use the properties of the circle to help us. The line segments ๐‘‚๐ด and ๐‘‚๐ต are both radii of the circle because theyโ€™re both a straight line extending from the center to a point on the circumference. That means that the length of ๐‘‚๐ด is equal to the length of ๐‘‚๐ต.

And so if we define the length of the line segment ๐‘‚๐ด as ๐‘ฅ, then that means that the length of the line segment ๐‘‚๐ต would also be ๐‘ฅ. And we can now apply the Pythagorean theorem. Therefore, weโ€™ll have the hypotenuse, thatโ€™s 20 squared, equal to ๐‘ฅ squared plus ๐‘ฅ squared. And of course ๐‘ฅ squared plus ๐‘ฅ squared is simplified to two ๐‘ฅ squared. We can also actually work out what 20 squared is. Itโ€™s 400. We can then divide both sides by two, which gives us that 200 is equal to ๐‘ฅ squared. We can then take the square root of each side of the equation, noting that ๐‘ฅ has to be a positive value because itโ€™s a length. Since 200 is equivalent to 100 multiplied by two, we have the square root of 100 times two is equal to ๐‘ฅ. And when we take the square root of 100, that leaves us with 10. And so 10 root two is equal to ๐‘ฅ.

Since we defined ๐‘ฅ to be the length of the line segment ๐‘‚๐ด, then we can give the answer that this length is 10 root two. And the units here would be length units.

Nagwa uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.