4.5 Applications of Right Triangles

  • Angles of Elevation and Depression • Indirect Measurements of Distances and Angles

Many problems in science, technology, and everyday life can be solved by finding the missing parts of a right triangle. In this section, we illustrate a number of these in the examples and exercises.

EXAMPLE 1 Angle of elevation

Horseshoe Falls on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls can be seen from a small boat 2500 ft downstream. The angle of elevation (the angle between the horizontal and the line of sight, when the object is above the horizontal) from the observer to the top of Horseshoe Falls is 4 ° . How high are the Falls?

By drawing an appropriate figure, as shown in Fig. 4.39, we show the given information and what ...

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