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 Grass Roots (Posted on 2004-12-12)

You have been captured by a mad king, he has placed you in a large field, he says you are free to go once you have calculated the area of the field.

He has left you with 1 pencil, 1 piece of paper, and 1 30cm ruler.

What is the quickest way to work out the area of the field, so you can go home to your family?

NOTE, from any position inside the field you can see the entire perimeter, assume that the field has four straight sides, though the angles may all be different.

Also, the area of the field is large enough to make it impractical to measure with the ruler

 See The Solution Submitted by Juggler Rating: 4.5000 (2 votes)

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 Alternate method | Comment 3 of 13 |

You could measure the heights fenceposts themselves, and then use the ruler held at arm's length to measure the apparent height at that distance, and use ratio v/a=h/d, where v is the visual appearance on the ruler at arm's length of the fence post's height, a is the length of your arm, h is the actual height of the post, and d is the unknown distance.  Then follow the procedure as for Larry's rangefinder method.

 Posted by Charlie on 2004-12-12 19:27:38

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