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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cable Curve

A cable, 16 meters in length, hangs between two pillars that are both 15 meters high. The ends of the cable are attached to the tops of the pillars. At its lowest point, the cable hangs 7 meters above the ground.

The Question: How far are the two pillars apart?


Answer: Note that it is a kind of trick question: the pillars stand next to each other. Which means that the cable goes 8 meters straight down and 8 meters straight up.

Conclusion: The distance between the pillars is zero meters.


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