Least Side Length of Right Triangle

If the lengths of two sides of a right triangle are 3 and 4, what is the least possible length of the third side?
Source: NCTM Mathematics Teacher, October 2006

Solution
If the legs of the right triangle measure 3 and 4 units, then the hypotenuse measures 5 units. If one leg measures 3 and the hypotenuse measures 4, then the other leg measures
\sqrt{4^2-3^2}=\sqrt{7}<5

Answer: \sqrt{7} units

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About mvtrinh

Retired high school math teacher.
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