How do I solve the following problem? A boat travels 60 miles downstream in the same time as it takes it to travel 40 miles upstream. The boat’s speed in still water is 20 miles/hour. Find the speed of the current.

Expert Answers

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You should come up with the notation for the speed of the boat such that: x miles/hour.

The speed of the boat upstream is x - 20 (the speed of boat in steel water).

The speed of the boat downstream is x + 20.

The problem provide the information that the boat travels 60 miles downstream in the same time it travels 40 miles upstream such that:

`60/(x+20) = 40/(x-20)`

`40(x+20) = 60(x-20)`

`2(x+20) = 3(x-20)`

You need to open brackets such that:

`2x + 40 = 3x - 60`

You need to move the terms that contains x to the left side such that:

`2x - 3x = -60 - 40`

`-x = -100 =gt x = 100`

Hence, evaluating the speed of the current under given conditions yields `x = 100`  miles/hour.

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