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Posts tagged with bridges

New Tools to Explain old Newton Equations


One of history’s great geniuses, Isaac Newton (yes, the mathematician with the curly hair sitting under the apple tree), developed differential equations in the 1600s. But we aren’t all geniuses, so here’s the definition given in Differential Equations for Dummies (caution – this link downloads over 300 pages!) such equations “involve derivatives, which specify how […]

High Tension Math in Bridge Designs


Mathematics is behind some wonderful new bridge designs (click image above for samples, including the use of plastic bottles), but even ancient bridges were based on arcs and circles, etc. such as this one in England    

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NCEA Level 2 Algebra Problem. Using the information given, the shaded area = 9, that is:
y(y-8) = 9 –> y.y – 8y – 9 =0
–> (y-9)(y+1) = 0, therefore y = 9 (can’t have a distance of – 1 for the other solution for y)
Using the top and bottom of the rectangle,
x = (y-8)(y+2) = (9-8)(9+2) = 11
but, the left side = (x-4) = 11-4 = 7, but rhs = y+? = 9+?, which is greater than the value of the opp. side??
[I think that the left had side was a mistake and should have read (x+4)?]

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