Using the Pythagorean theorem how would you find B if A =12 and c=17?

1 Answer
Aug 11, 2016

Answer:

Depending on which side is the hypotenuse,

#b = sqrt145, or b = sqrt 433#

Explanation:

It is not clear from the question which side is the hypotenuse.
The sides are usually given as either AB or # c# and not A or B which indicate points.

Let's consider both cases.

"If c is the hypotenuse"

#a^2 + b^2 = c^2 " "rArr b^2 = c^2 - a^2#

#b^2 = 17^2 - 12^2#

#b^2 = 145#

#b = sqrt145 = 12.04#
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If #c# is NOT the hypotenuse.

#b^2 = a^2 + c^2#

#b^2 = 12^2 + 17^2#

#b^2 = 433#

#b= sqrt 433 = 20.81#