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What happens when the side lengths are not whole numbers?


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Last updated 26 October 2012 15:30 by NZTecAdmin

Set up some scenarios like the following and ask the learners to use what they know to work out the length of the missing side. In this way they may come to know that Pythagoras Theorem applies to fraction/decimal side lengths as well as whole numbers.

Your learners may need a reminder about the doing and undoing nature of squaring and square rooting. For example, for the left-hand triangle 62 + 92 = x2 , since 36 + 81 = 117, x2 = 117, so x = √117 = 10.82 .

For the right-hand triangle 52 + 42 = y2, since 25 + 16 = 41, y2 = 41, so y = √41 = 6.4.

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