Pythagoras’s Theorem is possibly the best known theorem of all. Taught in early secondary school, it states that “the sum of the squares of the two shorter sides of a right triangle are equal to the square of the longest side”. You may think that this isn’t very useful in real life – after all, how many jobs actually involve triangles and surely you could just measure their side lengths? – but you would be dead wrong. Let’s explore which jobs Pythagoras is actually used in.
Whether a farmer or gardener, agriculturalists use Pythagoras to work out precisely the lengths of lines and diagonals.
Surveyors and Cartographers
Surveyors measure and map quantities, setting official boundaries for homeowners, for example. A working knowledge of geometry is key to this!
Most kinds of construction workers need Pythagoras- particularly carpenters for instance. If making a bespoke staircase or cupboard, Pythagoras can be essential to ensuring all the lengths are correct.
Engineering and Product Design
There are a huge range of engineering careers, but you can bet that they will all use Pythagoras’s theorem at some point! Measurements are incredibly important in engineering. Similarly, product designers will have an excellent understanding of geometry at their fingertips, to make precise calculations about the dimensions of their products’ components.
Swift calculation of distances is essential to aviation, whether before or during a flight.
Pythagoras is used all over Physics, for example, in calculating the resultant magnitude of 2 or more vectors. If you take A level Physics, you will realise that it’s used all the time! Any careers requiring Physics will use Pythagoras.
Do you want to learn more about where maths could take you? Check out the official maths careers website>>
Fancy discovering the truth of a maths based career as a woman? Read this Zine article>>
Article written by Britt Dewing, Stemettes Intern