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ExamHelp : Algebra – A fascinating subject

ExamHelp : Algebra – A fascinating subject

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Published by EduGain
An article for kids on algebra. For more such articles visit http://www.examhelp.in/blog
An article for kids on algebra. For more such articles visit http://www.examhelp.in/blog

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Published by: EduGain on Mar 27, 2011
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05/12/2014

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Visit us at www.examhelp.in
 
Algebra A fascinating subject
January 11th, 2011Algebra is when most children get introduced to the concepts of 
“abstract”
mathematics.Suddenly their world gets involved in quantities like
“x” 
and 
“y” 
s. And if not introducedproperly it can lead to fear of the subject. But if taught properly they can see that the
“x” 
and
“y” 
are like words that form a beautiful poem and they’ll delight themselves when they learn thissecret language and understand the beauty of algebra.Understanding and practice can go a long way in helping children here. Sites like Examhelp(www.examhelp.in)can help children in doing this.Let’s look at a simple problem that can illustrate the beauty of this language (adults may like ittoo). Note that this article is meant only for children studying in grade 6 and above.Suppose you take a long, really long string. You then cut out enough of it so that it can go all theway around the earth (I told you it was really long).So now you have this string that’s on the ground and encircling the earth along the equator.Nowsuppose you add another 30 centimeters to that string (that’s about the length of your long ruler).We then smoothen it out by pulling it up from the ground all over the equator so that it forms aproper circle again.The question is
“How high do you think the string will be above the ground now?”
Sounds very hard to solve, right. But let’s see…We know that the circumference of a circle is C = 2 x
π
x R, where R is the radius.(don’t worry about π – let’s just use the value of “3″ for now)So,
C = 2 x 3 x R = 6 x R 
 
Visit us at www.examhelp.in
Now we don’t know the exact radius of the earth here, but we don’t need to. Let’s leave it as asymbol
. So the length of the original string
= 6 x R
. We’ll just call it
6R
(and know it meansthe value of R, whatever it is, multiplied by 6).So
C = 6R
Now we added 30 cm to
C
. The length of the new string is now
C+30
.What we need to find out is how much
increases.Let’s say that
increased by some length
Z
. The value of 
Z
is what we want to findSo for the string, we can say it has a new circumference
(Cnew)
a new radius
(Rnew)
We also know that since it’s a circle
Cnew = 6Rnew 
And we know that the new circumference
Cnew = C+30
,and that
Rnew = R + Z 
(remember we already assumed R increased by a length Z which we are trying tofind out).So we get
C + 30 = 6(R + Z)
.Expanding this, we get,
C + 30 = 6R + 6Z 
But we already know that
6R = C 
Let’s replace the 6R by C on the right side
C + 30 = C + 6Z 
The two “C”s cancel out, leaving us with
30 = 6Z 
, or 
Z = 30/6 = 5
Amazing isn’t it. The new string would be 5 cm above the ground all everywhere. Just by adding30 cm extra.

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