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Variations of the Sliding Ladder Problem

by Stelios Kapranidis and Reginald Koo

This article originally appeared in:
College Mathematics Journal
November, 2008

Subject classification(s): Calculus | Single Variable Calculus | Differentiation
Applicable Course(s): 3.1 Mainstream Calculus I | 3.4 Non-mainstream Calc I

This article takes another look at the sliding ladder problem that students meet in the study of related rates in calculus.  Three variations of the problem are analyzed using elementary notions from mechanics, providing interesting insights and resolving an apparent paradox about the speed at which the top of the sliding ladder hits the ground.

A pdf copy of the article can be viewed by clicking below. Since the copy is a faithful reproduction of the actual journal pages, the article may not begin at the top of the first page.

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Capsule Course Topic(s):
One-Variable Calculus | Differentiation: General Applications
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