Consider the three right triangles in this diagram. The values that cannot change are:
AB=DE; AD=8; CG=17; DF=24.5; angle EDF>0; BC>0
Segment BC will vary. For any given length of BC, I need to be able to calculate the length of FG. How do I do that? I have a feeling the answer will be trig-based, but I can't come up with it. Thanks in advance.
For some background, the application of this specific problem is in Forestry. There is a simple tool called a Biltmore stick used for measuring tree diameter. The user holds the stick flush against the tree, aligning the left edge of the stick with the visual of the left edge of the tree, then without moving his/her eye, uses the marked graduations to read the diameter that aligns with the right visual edge of the tree. The distance between graduation marks decreases with increasing diameter, allowing for diameter to be read directly with a single measurement.
The formula for calculating the length to each graduation mark is flawed (even though it's been unchanged since the 1890's). The formula is based on a fixed distance between eye and stick, then uses the radius of the tree to determine the center point of the tree. However, because the measurement is taken at 4.5' (below eye level for most adults), there is a downward angle to the line created between the eye and stick, and therefore the distance to the center of the tree along that line is longer than the radius of the trunk (the hypotenuese of the triangle rather than the adjacent side).
Point A is the eye; D is the pivot point of the shoulder; CG is the distance between eye level and 4.5'; DF is the length of my arm when holding a stick; CG is the center of the tree; BF is the close edge of the tree.