
Elementary Math Fractions, Percentages, Word Problems, Equations, Inequations, Factorization, Expansion 
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October 9th, 2018, 12:56 AM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2014 From: India Posts: 343 Thanks: 1  stick ratio problem
A stick is broken up into 2 parts. The ratio of the lengths of the bigger part and the smaller part is equal to the ratio of the length of the full stick and bigger part. What is this ratio? How to solve this stick ratio problem? Last edited by skipjack; October 9th, 2018 at 03:08 AM. 
October 9th, 2018, 01:13 AM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 19,950 Thanks: 1842 
The answer is known as the golden ratio. You need to solve the equation x = (1 + x)/x, where x the ratio to be found is x:1. This equation is equivalent to xÂ²  x  1 = 0. Can you solve that? 
October 9th, 2018, 02:11 AM  #3  
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2014 From: India Posts: 343 Thanks: 1  Quote:
I can solve it.  
October 9th, 2018, 03:30 AM  #4 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 19,950 Thanks: 1842 
By the definition of x, (bigger part):(smaller part) is x:1. Taking the smaller part's length to be 1 unit of length, the larger part has length x units and so the original full stick had length 1+x units. Hence the question implies x:1 = (1 + x):x, which is equivalent to x = (1 + x)/x. By its definition, x is positive, so x is the positive root of the quadratic equation. The golden ratio (or some other term with equivalent meaning) has been known about and studied for thousands of years. 
October 9th, 2018, 03:40 AM  #5 
Senior Member Joined: Aug 2014 From: India Posts: 343 Thanks: 1  
October 9th, 2018, 04:08 AM  #6 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 19,950 Thanks: 1842 
The question asks for the ratio of the lengths of the bigger part and the smaller part, which can be written as (bigger part's length):(smaller part's length) or as (bigger part's length)/(smaller part's length):1. I defined x by stating "where x the ratio to be found is x:1", which was intended to be "where the ratio to be found is x:1". I originally typed "where x is the ratio to be found", then slightly misedited it. 

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