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Math notes to help you with your revision.
These notes cover 'surds' which is a sub-section of the topic 'number'.
50 sets of notes to collect from the topics: number,algebra,shape & space, information.

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GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com

Surds

**Surds are mathematical expressions containing square roots. However, it must be
**

emphasized that

**the square roots are 'irrational' i.e. they do not result in a whole number, a terminating
**

decimal or a

recurring decimal.

The rules governing surds are taken from the Laws of Indices.

rule #1

examples

rule #2

examples

**GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com
**

Number Surds topic notes

GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com

Some Useful Expressions

expression #1

expression #2 - (the difference of two squares)

**GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com
**

Number Surds topic notes

GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com

**Rationalising Surds - This is a way of modifying surd expressions so that the square root is
**

in the numerator of a fraction and not in the denominator.

The method is to multiply the top and bottom of the fraction by the square root.

Rationalising expressions using the 'difference of two squares'

Remembering that : .... .....from 'useful expressions' above.

**GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com
**

Number Surds topic notes

GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com

Example #1 – simplify

multiplying top and bottom by

**GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com
**

Number Surds topic notes

GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com

Example #2 – rationalise

multiply top and bottom by

**GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com
**

Number Surds topic notes

GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com

**Reduction of Surds - This is a way of making the square root smaller by examining its
**

squared

factors and removing them.

**Rational and Irrational Numbers - In the test for rational and irrational numbers, if a surd
**

has a

square root in the numerator, while the denominator is '1' or some other number, then the

number represented by the expression is 'irrational'.

examples of irrational surds:

GCSE Maths Tutor www.gcsemathstutor.com info@gcsemathstutor.com

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