# If the ramp covers 20 feet on the ground, how long is the inclinded surface of the ramp?

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The length of the ramp is dependent on the angle that it forms with the horizontal. Let us denote the angle at which the ramp is inclined to the ground to be A, and the length of the inclined surface to be L.

L*cos A = 20

=> L = 20/ cos A

The length of the inclined surface of a ramp forming an angle A with the ground is 20/cos A feet.

senseigreen | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

INSUFFICIENT DATA PROVIDED- one side does not a triangle make....

IF- you knew the ANGLE then trigonometry cosine solution would be valid, however.........

Going back further to simple algebra/geometry, the question (as stated) still only provides ONE part of the triangle (ramp viewed from the side).

IF- you simply knew the HEIGHT of the ramp, then Pythagoras would slip his answer by solving from square of base (b), square height (a)  get sum and take square root.

a^2 + b^2 = c^2 -->   c^(1/2)

>>>>>>EVEN Betterlook for TRIPLETS!(a TEST time saver!)

IF-  you found that the height was an equal ratio multiple of 3, then the ramp length would be THAT equalized multiple of 5   {example: 20 = 5x4, height 15 -->(5x3), then ramp would be 5x5 = 25!}

YET- Not enough data was given so....................................

we must walk because "IF- wishes were horses, then beggars would ride"