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Fencing Problem - Maths Coursework

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Fencing Problem – Math’s Coursework

A farmer has exactly 1000 meters of fencing and wants to fence of a plot of level land. She is not concerned about the shape of the plot but it must have a perimeter of 1000 m. She wishes to fence of a plot of land that contains the maximum area. I am going to investigate which shape is best for this and why.

I am going to start by investigating the different rectangles; all that have a perimeter of 1000 meters.

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Using this table I can draw a graph of height against area. This is on the next sheet.

As you can see, the graph has formed a parabola. According to the table and the graph, the rectangle with a base of 250m has the greatest area. This shape is also called a square.

Now that I have found that a square has the greatest area of the rectangles group, I am going to find the triangle with the largest area. I am only going to use isosceles triangles because if I know the base I can work out the other 2 lengths because they are the same. If the base is 200m long then I can subtract that from 1000 and divide it by two. This means that I can say that:

Side = (1000 – 200) / 2 = 400

To work out the area I need to know the height of the triangle. Tow ork out the height I can use Pythagoras’ Theorem.

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As you can see from the graph, the line straightens out as the number of side’s increases. Because I am increasing the sides by large amounts and they are not changing I am going to see what the result is for a circle. Circles have an infinite number of sides, so I cannot find the area using the equation for the other shapes. I can find out the area by using π. To work out the circumference of the cir le the equation is πd. I can rearrange this so that diameter equals circumference/π. From that I can work out the area using the πr² equation.

DIAMETER = 1000 / π = 318.310

RADIUS = 318.310 / 2 = 159.155

AREA = π × 159.155² = 79577.472m²

From this I have concluded that a circle has the largest area when using a similar circumference. This means that the farmer should use a circle for her plot of land so that she can gain the maximum area.

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