

Algebra geniuses out there?
07122009, 09:07 PM

#1

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Algebra geniuses out there?
Any of you late hour keepers want to show off your skills?
I have one problem on my homework that I think I don't have rightthe answer needs to be a simplified fraction and radicals, and can't be in decimal form.
x squared plus 5/2 x = 5
The two answers I got for x are
1/4 (5  square root 105) , 1/4 (square root 1055)
Only one more week of algebra to go!
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07122009, 09:42 PM

#2

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I agree, but to remove any possible ambiguity, I'd rewrite the second answer to be more like the first: 1/4(5 + sqrt 105)
the way, you wrote it, a possible (mis)interpretation would be 1/4(sqrt(1055)) although
you didn't write it that way
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07122009, 09:44 PM

#3

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Sarah, what I did was first subtract 5 from both sides, and then multiply each term by 2, to get
2(x squared) + 5x  10 = 0 as our equation to solve.
Then, the answer I got was
(5 + (square root of 105))/4
(5  (square root of 105))/4
It's been years! Hope I did it right. Whew! Looks to me like you got it right.
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07122009, 09:49 PM

#4

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I think that is the right form, once I looked at it. One of the things that confuses me so much is doing approximate versus exact and do simplified fractions mean you leave it over the 2, etc.
Thank you very much, both of you! I don't know how people remember this stuffit has been 20 years since I last had algebra, and I haven't kept a single bit of it. Argh!
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07122009, 10:04 PM

#5

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b +/ sqrt ( b*b 4ac ) / 2a
x*x + 5/2 x = 5
1*x*x + (5/2)x 5 = 0
so a=1, b=5/2, c= 5
b +/ sqrt ( b*b 4ac ) / 2a
(5/2) +/ sqrt ( 25/4 +20) / 2
(5/2) +/ sqrt ( 105/4 ) / 2
(5/2) +/ sqrt(105) /2 / 2
5 +/ sqrt(105) / 4
Also, the online decimal calculators agree with this answer (same as you have)
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07122009, 10:05 PM

#6

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Thanks, y'all! I submitted my homework (that was the last question I was having trouble with) and made an 83%! Got that one right, thanks to my smart peeps.
I'll hunt all of you down next week when I'm choking on the final.
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07132009, 07:08 AM

#7

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growingolder:
Hard to write a math looking formula on the computer, but you did a good job. I believe this is the formula for solving a ploynomial equation: x equals minus b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus 4 times a times c divided by 2 times a. Doesn't even sound right putting it into words but that's it.
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07132009, 11:20 AM

#8

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Are you allowed to use the quadratic formula or do you actually have to show all the work by completing the square?
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?"  Joe Dominguez (1938  1997)



07132009, 11:38 AM

#9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29
Are you allowed to use the quadratic formula or do you actually have to show all the work by completing the square?

My opinion is that it is much more meaningful to do the latter........50 yrs
from now, I doubt that you'll remember the formula. I couldn't even remember where the a,b,c went as coefficients. .......but if do the completing the square method, you'll understand the principle and have at least a fighting chance of doing it from scratch even when you're grayhaired in your rocking chair. An interesting exercise along the same line is to derive the quadratic formula from scratch.
The way OP posted the problem, it almost looked like they wanted you to
complete the square.
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07132009, 11:43 AM

#10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ziggy29
Are you allowed to use the quadratic formula or do you actually have to show all the work by completing the square?

You so nicely corrected my wording ziggy, it is a quadratic equation. Haven't touched that kind of stuff since 1957. See how much you can forget?
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07142009, 02:18 PM

#11

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Okay, here's another one for you:
Simplify the 16th root of (10) ^ 16
That is the 16th root of negative ten raised to the 16th power.
I think it is 10, but I'm wondering if 10 is right.
One more:
cube root of 20 .
I have to rewrite with a rational exponent. I can't use decimals, only fractions.
I've got 2 * cube root of 2 1 / 2
I have been using the quadratic formula and the long division method in this class, but we also learned completing the square and factoring. Depending on the equation, we had to show work for each of them.
The two problems above, I don't have to show work.
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07142009, 02:51 PM

#12

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
Okay, here's another one for you:
Simplify the 16th root of (10) ^ 16
That is the 16th root of negative ten raised to the 16th power.
I think it is 10, but I'm wondering if 10 is right.

In the real numbers, (x)^2n = x^2n for all integers n. Therefore this number is the same as 10^16, and the 16th root is simply 10. Furthermore, any "even root" (square root, 4th root, (2n)th root) of a real number is positive. Which makes sense, because when you repeatedly multiply a negative number by itself the results are positive, negative, positive, negative....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
One more:
cube root of 20.
I have to rewrite with a rational exponent. I can't use decimals, only fractions.
I've got 2 * cube root of 2 1/ 2

The cube root of x is simply x to the 1/3 power.
So therefore, the cube root of 20 is just 20^(1/3).
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?"  Joe Dominguez (1938  1997)



07142009, 03:13 PM

#13

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarah in SC
Okay, here's another one for you:
Simplify the 16th root of (10) ^ 16
That is the 16th root of negative ten raised to the 16th power.
I think it is 10 , but I'm wondering if 10 is right.

A similar example is this:
Qn: If x^2 = 4, what is x?
Ans: x = +2 or 2
Addendum question:
If x^2 = 4, what is x?
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07142009, 03:17 PM

#14

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Quote:
Originally Posted by indexfundfan
A similar example is this:
Qn: If x^2 = 4, what is x?
Ans: x = +2 or 2

It can be both, but I guess I'd check to see how the material was being covered in class. Sometimes they are implicitly seeking only the "positive" square root. So depending on what was being taught and how, the answer could either be 10 or +/10.
__________________
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?"  Joe Dominguez (1938  1997)



07142009, 03:21 PM

#15

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I'm going to have nightmares of my Algebra classes now....
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07142009, 03:57 PM

#16

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Me, too, Bam!
I am soooo impressed by the help you're getting, Sarah! When they told me I would never need to know algebra in the real world I believed them, so I got nothing.
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07142009, 05:06 PM

#17

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Quote:
Originally Posted by indexfundfan
Addendum question:
If x^2 = 4, what is x?

x = 2i where i = sqrt(1) 1 = 1 angle 0, 1 = 1 angle 180
i = 1 angle 90
1 (or +1) can be thought of as a horizontal line from 0 to +1
1 can be thought of as a hor. line from 0 to 1 or the +1 line rotated 180 deg or 2 90 deg rotations
1i can be thought of a vertical line from 0 to + 1 or a 90 deg rotation
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07142009, 05:20 PM

#18

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Boy that sure makes sense the way you explain it.
Okay, thanks y'all, very much!
I have a logical mind, but believed it when they told me I was bad at math.
Those very logical explanations really help.
I guess I keep thinking there is a "trick" somewhere that I missed.
BBB and Feever, you know I'm right there with ya!
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07142009, 05:38 PM

#19

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I prefer Algebraless...
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07142009, 06:20 PM

#20

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HFWR, for you we will have a special "braburning math" book written
ta,
mew
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