Question B 02
A triangle has two sides with fixed lengths 3 cm and 4 cm respectively. The angle between them changes at a constant rate of 1 radian/sec. How quickly is the length of the third side (S) changing when the angle between the sides of fixed length is ?
Make sure you understand the problem fully: What is the question asking you to do? Are there specific conditions or constraints that you should take note of? How will you know if your answer is correct from your work only? Can you rephrase the question in your own words in a way that makes sense to you?
If you are stuck, check the hints below. Read the first one and consider it for a while. Does it give you a new idea on how to approach the problem? If so, try it! If after a while you are still stuck, go for the next hint.
You may need the following formula (the cosine law):
Apply implicit differentiation with respect to time. Note that and are functions of time (the other sides have fixed, or constant lengths).
Checking a solution serves two purposes: helping you if, after having used all the hints, you still are stuck on the problem; or if you have solved the problem and would like to check your work.
Following the hint, we recall the cosine law:
Differentiating implicitly with respect to time,
At the time in question, we are given that . From the cosine law above, we also have , when . Therefore