The x-axis and the three lines x = 1, x = 4 and y = mx + 4 form a trapezoid. If the area of the trapezoid is 7, then what is m?
- -1/2
- -2/3
- -3/2
- -2
- none of these
Here’s the set-up.
A = (1, m ⋅ 1 + 4) = (1, m + 4), so b_{1} = m + 4
B = (4, 4m +4), so b_{2} = 4m + 4.
B = (4, 4m +4), so b_{2} = 4m + 4.
= 3/2 (m + 4 + 4m + 4) | |
= 3/2 (5m + 8) = 15m/2 + 12 = 7 (given). | |
→ 15m/2 = -5 → 15m = -10 → m = -2/3 (b). |
So in the sketch, our line should have negative slope, but who knew? Well, OK, OK, we could have known. Suppose we had a rectangle, then m = 0, and b_{1} = m + 4 = 4. So the area of the rectangle would be 3 x 4 = 12, which is bigger than the area of the trapezoid. So m is negative already. Sheesh.