What is Pythagoras’ Theorem?

We’re glad you endeavored to ask. Discovered by the ancient Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, during 569-475 BC, the Pythagoras’ Theorem, also referred to as the Pythagorean Theorem, is a fundamental relation in the study of Geometry among the three sides of a right triangle (as pictured).

Although its commonly debated that the formula existed before his time, Pythagoras is well-assumed and credited with its first recorded proof. Since then, the theorem has been proven numerous times by various mathematicians including Euclid and Einstein.

The theorem states that the square of a hypotenuse (this is the side opposite of the right angle) is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides. In other words, if the triangle had a right angle and you made a square on each of the three sides, then the biggest square had the exact same area as the other two squares put together.

This is typically written as a short-form equation that relates the lengths of sides a, b, and c together. This equation would appear as so:  

Knowing and applying this formula can help with determining headroom, sling length and would also dove-tail into sling tension and load angle factors. 

Provided by Jerry Klinke’s Rigging Handbook, 5th Edition, below are a few practice equations to solve to help you gear up for future use of this equation.

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