Problem #2155

2155.

Three one-inch squares are placed with their bases on a line. The center square is lifted out and rotated 45 degrees, as shown. Then it is centered and lowered into its original location until it touches both of the adjoining squares. How many inches is the point $B$ from the line on which the bases of the original squares were placed?

[asy] unitsize(1inch); defaultpen(linewidth(.8pt)+fontsize(8pt)); draw((0,0)--((1/3) + 3*(1/2),0)); fill(((1/6) + (1/2),0)--((1/6) + (1/2),(1/2))--((1/6) + 1,(1/2))--((1/6) + 1,0)--cycle, rgb(.7,.7,.7)); draw(((1/6),0)--((1/6) + (1/2),0)--((1/6) + (1/2),(1/2))--((1/6),(1/2))--cycle); draw(((1/6) + (1/2),0)--((1/6) + (1/2),(1/2))--((1/6) + 1,(1/2))--((1/6) + 1,0)--cycle); draw(((1/6) + 1,0)--((1/6) + 1,(1/2))--((1/6) + (3/2),(1/2))--((1/6) + (3/2),0)--cycle); draw((2,0)--(2 + (1/3) + (3/2),0)); draw(((2/3) + (3/2),0)--((2/3) + 2,0)--((2/3) + 2,(1/2))--((2/3) + (3/2),(1/2))--cycle); draw(((2/3) + (5/2),0)--((2/3) + (5/2),(1/2))--((2/3) + 3,(1/2))--((2/3) + 3,0)--cycle); label("$B$",((1/6) + (1/2),(1/2)),NW); label("$B$",((2/3) + 2 + (1/4),(29/30)),NNE); draw(((1/6) + (1/2),(1/2)+0.05)..(1,.8)..((2/3) + 2 + (1/4)-.05,(29/30)),EndArrow(HookHead,3)); fill(((2/3) + 2 + (1/4),(1/4))--((2/3) + (5/2) + (1/10),(1/2) + (1/9))--((2/3) + 2 + (1/4),(29/30))--((2/3) + 2 - (1/10),(1/2) + (1/9))--cycle, rgb(.7,.7,.7)); draw(((2/3) + 2 + (1/4),(1/4))--((2/3) + (5/2) + (1/10),(1/2) + (1/9))--((2/3) + 2 + (1/4),(29/30))--((2/3) + 2 - (1/10),(1/2) + (1/9))--cycle);[/asy]

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

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Instructions for entering answers:

  • Reduce fractions to lowest terms and enter in the form 7/9.
  • Numbers involving pi should be written as 7pi or 7pi/3 as appropriate.
  • Square roots should be written as sqrt(3), 5sqrt(5), sqrt(3)/2, or 7sqrt(2)/3 as appropriate.
  • Exponents should be entered in the form 10^10.
  • If the problem is multiple choice, enter the appropriate (capital) letter.
  • Enter points with parentheses, like so: (4,5)
  • Complex numbers should be entered in rectangular form unless otherwise specified, like so: 3+4i. If there is no real component, enter only the imaginary component (i.e. 2i, NOT 0+2i).

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