2013 AMC 10B Problems/Problem 15

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A wire is cut into two pieces, one of length $a$ and the other of length $b$. The piece of length $a$ is bent to form an equilateral triangle, and the piece of length $b$ is bent to form a regular hexagon. The triangle and the hexagon have equal area. What is $\frac{a}{b}$?

$\textbf{(A)}\ 1\qquad\textbf{(B)}\ \frac{\sqrt{6}}{2}\qquad\textbf{(C)}\ \sqrt{3} \qquad\textbf{(D)}\ 2\qquad\textbf{(E)}\ \frac{3\sqrt{2}}{2}$

Solution 1

Using the area formulas for an equilateral triangle $\left(\frac{{s}^{2}\sqrt{3}}{4}\right)$ and regular hexagon $\left(\frac{3{s}^{2}\sqrt{3}}{2}\right)$ with side length $s$, plugging $\frac{a}{3}$ and $\frac{b}{6}$ into each equation, we find that $\frac{{a}^{2}\sqrt{3}}{36}=\frac{{b}^{2}\sqrt{3}}{24}$. Simplifying this, we get $\frac{a}{b}=\boxed{\textbf{(B)} \frac{\sqrt{6}}{2}}$

Solution 2

The regular hexagon can be broken into 6 small equilateral triangles, each of which is similar to the big equilateral triangle. The big triangle's area is 6 times the area of one of the little triangles. Therefore each side of the big triangle is $\sqrt{6}$ times the side of the small triangle. The desired ratio is $\frac{3\sqrt{6}}{6}=\frac{\sqrt{6}}{2}\Rightarrow(B).$

See also

2013 AMC 10B (ProblemsAnswer KeyResources)
Preceded by
Problem 14
Followed by
Problem 16
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