Solving Spans with Sticks, Strings, Sightlines & Stones


In this excerpt from our book, “From Truths to Tools,” we show how the carpenter/geometers of antiquity used the simplest of tools – those mentioned with almost annoying alliteration in the title – to solve for an unknown distance.   

Note that the solution does not necessarily require a number as it physically reveals the length of rope or timber needed to reach the span point. Here’s the excerpt:





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4 Responses to Solving Spans with Sticks, Strings, Sightlines & Stones

  1. Joe Babb says:

    Love it! I keep looking for ways to lay things out using simple geometry.

  2. Neal McCormick says:

    These snippets are great. I have the download but have not had time to really look at it. Thanks for sharing these – this is enlightening at the brightest levels.

  3. Dean Morrell says:

    My wife and I homeschool our kids. We, like all teachers, get asked frequently, “Why do I have to learn this? When will I have to use this?”. This book will demonstrate the answer to that question; it is to be next years second math class. Can’t wait to get it in person.

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