Using the Pythagorean Theorem in Everyday Life

Topics: Pythagorean theorem, Angle, Pythagoras Pages: 2 (531 words) Published: November 3, 2012
How We Use the Pythagorean Theorem in Everyday Life

First, let’s discuss the inventor of the theorem before how we use it. Pythagoras of Samos is a very odd fellow but is very well known despite not have written anything in his lifetime so what we know about him comes from Historians and Philosophers. Though we know he was a Greek philosopher and mathematician mainly known for the Pythagorean Theorem that we all learned in 6th grade. (a2 + b2 = c2). His theorem states that that the square of the hypotenuse (c2) of a right triangle is equal to the two legs squared (a2 + b2). With the endless amounts of angles somehow making a 90 degree angle, you’d be surprised how often people use this theorem to solve everyday needs. It can easily be applied to architecture and construction, such as with building homes that have a triangular-life roof tops or gables though it is only applied when it is with a 90 degree angle, of course, as the rule still applies. The theorem can also be used to find the location of two points, which is why it also plays a part in navigation. When a triangulation is in a 90 degree angle, a certain location can be pinpointed. Cell phones can be traced using this triangulation method and also automobile navigation. This method can also be used with a compass to find your current geographical location. NASA also uses this method to trace spacecrafts and sends a signal out to them which, in turn, bounces the signal back and triangulation uses these figures to calculate the spacecraft’s position. Geologists also use the Pythagorean Theorem to track earthquake activity. Earthquakes make two different types of waves, one being slower and longer than the other. If they triangulate the distance travelled by the faster waves by the slower ones then the geologists can determine the source or centre of the earthquake. Triangulation can also be used in Forensic Investigations to find out the path of a shot bullet. This can help the police by showing the...
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