# ISEE Upper Level Math : How to find the height of a right triangle

## Example Questions

### Example Question #1 : How To Find The Height Of A Right Triangle

Note: Figure NOT drawn to scale.

In the above figure, .

Which of the following comes closest to the length of ?

Explanation:

and , so by the Pythagorean Theorem,

Because  is the altitude from the vertex  of

.

Therefore,

Also,

For similar reasons,

.

Therefore,

Of the choices given, 60 comes closest.

### Example Question #61 : Geometry

Note: Figure NOT drawn to scale.

In the above figure, .

Which of the following comes closest to the length of ?

Explanation:

and , so by the Pythagorean Theorem,

Because  is the altitude from the vertex  of

.

Therefore,

Also,

For similar reasons,

.

Therefore,

.

Of the choices given, 75 comes closest.

### Example Question #1 : How To Find The Height Of A Right Triangle

Refer to the above figure. Evaluate the length of  in terms of .

Explanation:

The altitude of a right triangle to its hypotenuse divides the triangle into two smaller trangles similar to each other and to the large triangle.

Therefore,

and, consequently,

,

or, equivalently,

by the Pythagorean Theorem, so

.

### Example Question #4 : How To Find The Height Of A Right Triangle

Refer to the above figure. Evaluate the length of  in terms of .

Explanation:

The height of a right triangle from the vertex of its right angle is the geometric mean - in this case, the square root of the product - of the lengths of the two segments of the hypotenuse that it forms. Therefore,

### Example Question #5 : How To Find The Height Of A Right Triangle

Note: Figure NOT drawn to scale.

In the above right triangle, . Give the length of .

Explanation:

The two triangles formed by an altitude from the vertex of a right triangle are similar to each other and the large triangle, so all three are 30-60-90 triangles. Take advantage of this, applying it twice.

Looking at . By the 30-60-90 Theorem, the shorter leg of a hypotentuse measures half that of the hypotenuse.

Now, look at . By the same theorem,

and

### Example Question #1 : How To Find The Height Of A Right Triangle

Note: Figure NOT drawn to scale.

Refer to the above map. A farmer owns a triangular plot of land flanked by the three highways as shown. The farmer uses Highway 2 frequently; however, he can only access it by driving five miles north on Highway 32 or twelve miles east on Highway 100.

He wants to build a dirt road that directly accesses Highway 2. He figures that it will cost $1,500 per tenth of a mile to construct the road. By his estimate, which answer will come closest to the total cost of the shortest possible road? Possible Answers: Correct answer: Explanation: The three roads form the legs and the hypotenuse of a right triangle with legs 5 and 12 miles; by the Pythagorean Theorem, the hypotenuse is miles. To find the length of the shortest possible road, which must be perpendicular to Highway 2, it should be observed that this road serves as an altitude from the vertex of the triangle to the hypotenuse. The area of a right triangle can be calculated two ways - by taking half the product of the lengths of the legs or by taking half the product of the length of the altitude (height) and that of the hypotenuse. Setting as the height, we can solve for in the equation: miles. This is 46 tenths of a mile, so the approximate cost of the road in dollars will be Among the five choices,$70,000 comes closest.