The Falling Ladder Paradox

Paul Scholten, Andrew Simoson
1996 The College Mathematics Journal  
A nyone who has studied calculus has probably solved the classic falling ladder problem of related rates fame: A ladder L feet long leans against a vertical wall. If the base of the ladder is moved outwards at the constant rate of k feet per second, how fast is the tip of the ladder moving downward? The standard solution model for this problem is to assume that the tip of the ladder slips downward, maintaining contact with the wall until impact at ground level, so that if the base and tip of
more » ... base and tip of the ladder at any time t have coordinates and
doi:10.1080/07468342.1996.11973750 fatcat:4bw4bde4zvay7ocne6qltwpsim