How Is the Pythagorean Theorem Used Today?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Mar 28, 2020 10:24:18 AM ET
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The Pythagorean theorem is used today in construction and various other professions and in numerous day-to-day activities. In construction, this theorem is one of the methods builders use to lay the foundation for the corners of a building. This special triangle is useful when they do not have a carpenter’s square, which is a tool for constructing right angles.


The Pythagorean theorem is applicable any time there is a right triangle. When a person knows the length of two sides of a triangle and wants to find the third side, this theorem is used. For example, a person sees an entertainment set at a furniture store and does not have the time to go home and measure his TV set. He knows the measurement of his TV screen and thus calculates the diagonal measurement of the TV space in the entertainment set using the Pythagorean theorem. Through this simple method, he is able to determine whether his TV set fits or not.

Furthermore, the Pythagorean theorem is commonly used in advanced math today. It is used in computing surface areas, volumes and perimeters of different geometric shapes, converting between polar and rectangular coordinates and computing the distance between particular points on a plane. The distance formula is one of its most frequent applications.

Professionals that typically use the Pythagorean theorem include computer and mathematical experts, engineers, architects, surveyors, cartographers, carpenters, construction and building inspectors, electricians, glaziers, electrical installers, machinists, and managers in the construction and business industries.