Review of Algebra

Arithmetic Operations The real numbers have the following properties: a b b a ab a b c a b ab c ab ac In particular.2 s REVIEW OF ALGEBRA Review of Algebra q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q Here we review the basic rules and procedures of algebra that you need to know in order to be successful in calculus. Schematically. we get c 1 b c 1b 1c EXAMPLE 1 (a) 3xy 4x 3 4 x 2y 12x 2y (b) 2t 7x 2tx 11 14tx 4t 2x 22t (c) 4 3 x 2 4 3x 6 10 3x If we use the Distributive Law three times. we get a b c d a bc a bd ac bc ad bd This says that we multiply two factors by multiplying each term in one factor by each term in the other factor and adding the products. we have a In the case where c or 1 b c d a and d a b b. we have 2 a2 ba ab b2 a b 2 a2 2ab b2 Similarly. we obtain 2 a b 2 a2 2ab b2 . putting a b and so b c b c ba c (Commutative Law) (Associative Law) (Distributive law) ab c a bc 1 in the Distributive Law.

we use a common denominator: a b c d ad bd bc We multiply such fractions as follows: a b In particular. it is true that a b a b a b c d ac bd To divide two fractions.REVIEW OF ALGEBRA x 3 EXAMPLE 2 6x 2 3x (a) 2x 1 3x 5 (b) x 6 2 x 2 12x 36 2x 6 (c) 3 x 1 4x 3 10x 3 4x 2 12x 2 12x 2 5 x 3x 5x 6x 2 7x 5 12 12 3 2x 9 2x 21 Fractions To add two fractions with the same denominator.) To add two fractions with different denominators. we invert and multiply: a b c d a b d c ad bc . take a b c 1 to see the error. we use the Distributive Law: a b Thus. it is true that a b c a b c b c b 1 b a 1 b c 1 a b c a b c But remember to avoid the following common error: | b a c a b a c (For instance.

The easiest situation occurs when the expression has a common factor as follows: Expanding 3x(x-2)=3x@-6x Factoring To factor a quadratic of the form x 2 x r x s bx x2 c we note that r s sx rs c. 24 x 3 x 8 7x SOLUTION Even though the coefficient of x 2 is not 1. We sometimes need to reverse this process (again using the Distributive Law) by factoring an expression as a product of simpler ones. SOLUTION The two integers that add to give 5 and multiply to give Therefore x2 EXAMPLE 5 Factor 2x 2 5x 4. 24 are 3 and 8. where rs 2x 2 7x 4.4 s REVIEW OF ALGEBRA EXAMPLE 3 3 x x 3 x 3x 2 xx 1 3x 6 x 2 x (b) x 1 x 2 x 1 x 2 x2 x 2 2 x 2x 6 2 x x 2 s2t ut s 2 t 2u s2t 2 (c) u 2 2u 2 x x y 1 y y x xx y x 2 xy x y (d) x y y x y yx y xy y 2 y 1 x x (a) 1 Factoring x 3 x x 3 x We have used the Distributive Law to expand certain algebraic expressions. we can still look for factors of the form 2x r and x s. Experimentation reveals that 4 2x 1 x 4 Some special quadratics can be factored by using Equations 1 or 2 (from right to left) or by using the formula for a difference of squares: 3 a2 b2 a b a b . so we need to choose numbers r and s so that r EXAMPLE 4 Factor x 2 b and rs 5x 24.

a (Equation 3. we sometimes use the following fact. P 2 0. By the Factor Theorem. and 24. 6. Completing the square means rewriting a quadratic ax 2 bx c . then b is a factor of 24. EXAMPLE 8 Factor x 3 3 3x 2 2 10x 24. where b is an integer. we use long division as follows: x x2 2 x3 x3 x 3x 2 2x 2 x2 x2 12 10 x 10x 2x 12x 12x 2 x2 2 x 24 24 24 x 3 x 12 4 Therefore x3 3x 2 10x 24 x x Completing the Square Completing the square is a useful technique for graphing parabolas or integrating rational functions. For a sum of cubes we have 5 a3 b3 a b a2 ab b2 EXAMPLE 6 (a) x 2 6x 9 x 32 2 (b) 4x 25 2x 5 2x 5 (c) x 3 8 x 2 x 2 2x 4 x2 x 2 (Equation 2. b 5) x. Instead of substituting further. a (Equation 5. We find that P 1 12. P 1 30. SOLUTION Let P x x 3x 10x 24. 6 The Factor Theorem If P is a polynomial and P b 0. we have x2 x 2 16 2x 8 x x 4 x 4 x 4 2 x x 4 2 To factor polynomials of degree 3 or more.REVIEW OF ALGEBRA x 5 The analogous formula for a difference of cubes is 4 a3 b3 a b a2 ab b2 which you can verify by expanding the right side. Thus. b 2) EXAMPLE 7 Simplify 16 . If P b 0. 2. 4. 8. b 3) 2x. then x b is a factor of P x . x 2 is a factor. 3. 12. a x. 2x 8 SOLUTION Factoring numerator and denominator. the possibilities for b are 1.

) . If b 2 4ac 0. the equation has no real root. 5. If b 2 4ac 0. Factoring the number a from the terms involving x. the quadratic formula gives the solutions s32 4 5 25 3 3 10 s69 The quantity b 2 4ac that appears in the quadratic formula is called the discriminant. In general. 2. 3. (The roots are complex. the roots are equal. 1 SOLUTION The square of half the coefficient of x is 4. If b 2 4ac 0. Thus x2 EXAMPLE 10 x 1 x2 x 1 4 1 4 1 (x 1 2 2 ) 3 4 2x 2 12x 11 2 x2 2 x 6x 3 2 11 9 2 x2 11 6x 2x 3 9 2 9 7 11 Quadratic Formula By completing the square as above we can obtain the following formula for the roots of a quadratic equation. There are three possibilities: 1. we have ax 2 bx c a x2 b x a b x a b 2a 2 c b 2a c 2 a x2 b 2a b2 4a 2 c a x EXAMPLE 9 Rewrite x 2 x 1 by completing the square. b x 3. 2.6 s REVIEW OF ALGEBRA in the form a x p 2 q and can be accomplished by: 1. c 3 3. the equation has two real roots. Adding and subtracting the square of half the coefficient of x. 2 7 The Quadratic Formula The roots of the quadratic equation ax bx c 0 are x b sb 2 2a 4ac EXAMPLE 11 Solve the equation 5x 2 SOLUTION With a 3x 3 0.

REVIEW OF ALGEBRA x 7 These three cases correspond to the fact that the number of times the parabola y ax 2 bx c crosses the x-axis is 2. 9 The Binomial Theorem If k is a positive integer. In case (3) the quadratic ax 2 bx c can’t be factored and is called irreducible. we get a b 4 a4 4a 3b 6a 2b 2 4ab 3 b4 In general. we have the following formula. y y y 0 x 0 x 0 x FIGURE 1 Possible graphs of y=ax@+bx+c (a) b@-4ac>0 (b) b@-4ac=0 (c) b@-4ac<0 EXAMPLE 12 The quadratic x 2 x 4ac 2 is irreducible because its discriminant is 12 41 2 x 2. or 0 (see Figure 1). then a b k ak ka k 1b kk kk 1 k 2 2 a b 1 2 1 k 2 k 3 3 a b 1 2 3 kk 1 k 1 2 3 1 n n 1 a k nb n kab k bk . we get the binomial expansion 3 a b a3 3a 2b 3ab 2 b3 Repeating this procedure. 1. 7 0 negative: b2 Therefore. it is impossible to factor x 2 The Binomial Theorem Recall the binomial expression from Equation 1: a If we multiply both sides by a 8 b 2 a2 2ab b2 b and simplify.

b 2. Notice that sx (See Appendix A. there is no similar rule for the square root of a sum. you should remember to avoid the following common error: | (For instance. x. Here are two rules Since a x 2 0. If n is even.8 s REVIEW OF ALGEBRA EXAMPLE 13 Expand x 2 5. if n is a positive integer. The fol- n sab n n sa sb n a b n sa n sb 3 EXAMPLE 15 sx 4 3 sx 3x 3 3 sx 3 sx 3 xsx . k 2 3 SOLUTION Using the Binomial Theorem with a 5. take a EXAMPLE 14 sa 9 and b b sa sb 16 to see the error.” Thus x sa means x2 a and x 0 0.) (a) s18 s2 18 2 sx 2 sy 2 s9 3 (b) sx 2 y x sy x because s1 indicates the positive square root.) In general. The symbol s1 means “the positive square root of. x n sa means xn 0 and x a 0. then a 3 Thus s 8 2 because lowing rules are valid: 2 3 4 6 8. In fact. but s 8 and s 8 are not defined. we have 5x 2 4 x 2 5 x5 x5 5x 4 10x 4 2 5 4 3 x 1 2 40x 3 80x 2 2 2 5 4 3 2 x 1 2 3 32 2 5 80x Radicals The most commonly occurring radicals are square roots. the symbol sa makes sense only when a for working with square roots: a b sa sb 10 sab sa sb However.

we raise both numerator and denominator to the power. 2. To raise a quotient to a power. these five laws can be stated as follows: 1. To multiply two powers of the same number. a 3. 4. by definition. To raise a power to a new power. a n a a n factors a 2. SOLUTION We multiply the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate radical sx 4 sx 2: 4 x 2 sx 4 x x x (sx 4 2) sx 2 sx sx 4 4 1 4 2 2 2 x 4 x (sx 4 4 2) Exponents Let a be any positive number and let n be a positive integer. Then 1. 5. Then. we subtract the exponents. 1. a r as ar s 2. Then we can take advantage of the formula for a difference of squares: (sa sb )(sa sb ) (sa )2 (sb )2 sx a 4 x b 2 EXAMPLE 16 Rationalize the numerator in the expression . ab r a rb r 5. we multiply the exponents. we raise each factor to the power.REVIEW OF ALGEBRA x 9 To rationalize a numerator or denominator that contains an expression such as sa sb. we multiply both the numerator and the denominator by the conjugate radical sa sb. . ar br b 0 In words. ar as a b r ar s 3. ratios of integers). a r s a rs 4. a1 n n am 1 an n sa n sa m (sa )m n m is any integer 11 Laws of Exponents Let a and b be positive numbers and let r and s be any rational numbers (that is. we add the exponents. a 0 1 n 4. 3. To divide two powers of the same number. To raise a product to a power.

45. 4t 2 43. x 3 2t 1 16. 8 1 c 1 c s s s 1 1 s s s s s Expand and simplify. 5 3t 9. 9x 2 37. 2x 2 y 3x x 4 x xy 4 28. s Simplify the expression. 53. a bc b ac . 1–16 1. 52. s 1 27. x 2 s Factor the expression. 2x 13. t 3 2x x 2 s s 1 x s s x2 s 2 41. 4 6. x y z x 3 5x 2 6x x 2 x 12 1 2r s s2 6t 26. x 3 s s s Perform the indicated operations and simplify. 25. 4t 2 42. 1 1 1 1 1 s s 6ab 0. 8x 9b 6 18. 4 x 2 8. 1 s s s s s 39. t 15. x 2 40. 24. x x 12. 4. 2. x 3 44. 2 30. 51. 2x 2 36. 22. u 23. x 2 34. 2x x 5. y 4 6 14. 1 s s s 2 t2 7 5 x2 2 2x 2t t 1 3 10. x 2 35. x 3x 2 2 1 9x 8 1 3 x2 9 50. x 3 s 3 24 s s s 46. 4x 11. 6x 2 y 5 5 2 y 3 8t 3x s s s 6 38. x2 x2 x2 x x 2 2x 2 3x 2 x 4 2 21. 3b 2 5 1 x u u 1 3 20. 5ab 8abc x 7x 10x 10x 9s 2 27 4x 2 2x 2 3x 2 s s 6 8 32.10 s REVIEW OF ALGEBRA EXAMPLE 17 (a) 28 x x 2 1 82 y y 2 1 28 1 x2 1 x y 23 2 28 26 214 xy y x (b) 1 y2 x2 2 y x 2y 2 y2 x2 1 y x x 2y 2 y xy x y x y x xy y x xy 8 3 (c) 43 2 1 (d) 3 4 sx (e) x y 3 s43 s64 1 x 4 x4 3 y 2x z 4 Alternative solution: 43 2 (s4 )3 23 8 x3 y3 y 8x 4 z4 x 7y 5z 4 Exercises q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q A Click here for answers. x 3 s s s s 5x 23x 4x s s 2 60 12 s s s 17–28 17. x 3 48. s s s s 24 29–48 29. 2x 31. 12x 3 7x 2x 36 5x 1 12t 2x 2 3x 2 5x 2 9 x x 2x s s s 7. 19. 1 x 2 a2 x y z 1 3 ab x 1 1 4 b2 47. 8x 2 6 4 3 25 1 x 3x 2 2 33.5ac 5 3a x 4 1 3x 1 2 1 s s x s s s s 3. x 3 s s s 2 2 1 x s 49–54 49.

s s s x 1 1 y 1 x7 4x a s s s 110. 88. 106. sxy sx y 3 s s s s s s s 79. 2x 2 68. 3 90. 87. a 75. 3x 2 67. x s s 9x 3x s s 4 6 s s s s s 2 2 103. (sa ) 8 sx 5 4 sx 3 3 5 s s s 3 61–68 61. 2x 2 71. a 76. s 115. 4 3 4 s32x 4 4 s2 5 109. s 69–72 s Which of the quadratics are irreducible? 3x x s s sx x (1 sx ) x s2 1 sx sy x s s 1 1 s2 h h 69. 64 3 2 91. x s s s Use the Binomial Theorem to expand the expression. x 2 57. 216 410 16 6 s . an a x x 1 a 2n n 2 1 55–60 55. 56. 2x 2 y 4 5 95. x 3 s s s s s s t 1 2sst s2 3 s s s s s s s 4 100. x 64. 3x s s 4 6 s s s s s 70. x 2 60. s s x2 s x x s s 2 s x2 s s 2 5x s s 4 s s s s s s s s s s 85. 2x 2 72. x 2 2 s Solve the equation. x 4 1 2 83–100 83. x 2 2 2x 2x 7x 3x 2 s s 8 7 2 x s s 0 0 0 s 97. 5 s3a s s s s s s 16 a 16 x x x3 4 a 16 y 112. 78. x 2 s Complete the square. 99. s Rationalize the expression. 125 2 59. sx 2 4 1 y x 1 x x 1 2 2 x 2 y 81. x sx 8 x 4 2 3 s5 3x s s s h s s 73–76 73. 116. x 5 y 3z 10 4 96. 310 Use the Laws of Exponents to rewrite and simplify the expression. s 1 (st ) 5 4 98. b 6 4 74. sy 6 94. 105. 65. 114. s32 s2 80. 2x 5x 4x s s y y 5 4 3 1 1 5 10 2 s s s s s 16x 3x 24x s s s 80 1 50 s s s s 89. 104. sx 2 2 5 s s s s s s s s s 4 s x s s s 108. x 2 58. sx 2 111. 6 s s s 6 s 4x s s 4a s s s s s s s s s s 98 84. x 63.REVIEW OF ALGEBRA x 11 54. 9x 9x 5x 2x 1 s s 10 1 1 0 s 0 0 0 62. 113. s16a b s s s s s96a6 82. sx 2 s s s sx 2 s s s x s s 2 1 s s 109–116 77–82 s Simplify the radicals. 3x 2 x 9 2x x3 a b a 5b 5 1 2 3 3 4 4 86. 77. 3 s 2 3 s54 s State whether or not the equation is true for all values of the variable. 961 92. x 3 s s s 66. 4x 2 s s s 93. 3 9 102. 3 s s s s s s s s s b x s 7 107. sr 2n 1 4 sr 1 s s s s s s s s s s s 1 s 0 s s 101–108 101.

2x 1 x 2 x 2 2x 1 t 3 1 2 2 3 t 1 42. y 21a 2b 5 75. 2t 3 2x 5 2 1 a2 b x xy y 2 89. False 116. 2x 3 1 2x x2 1 x 23. 2s2 x 3 y 6 97. 2 60 85. 2t 43. Irreducible x2 17. 3t 6x 2 3 x 2 1 2 b 73. x 4x 16 xsx 8 s5 2 106. 3 2 2x x 1 69. 1 71. 46. x 4 2 2 4 102. False 114. x 8 76. 2 x 83. 104. ( x 5 2 2 3 sx x x 55. 26. 8 7ab 6 4x 2 270x 4 1 90x 6 15x 8 80. 34. 57. 2x 1 32. 5. q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q q 2. False 111. a 6 74. False 4 2 61. 2x 16 3 62. True 115. x 35. x 58. s2 sy y 108. 9 x 37. 15a 4b 2 21a 5b 2 6x 4 2 1 3 20a 3b 3 35a 4b 3 15a 2b 4 35a 3b 4 6ab 5 b6 b7 3x 7 2x 15 3ab a 2b 2 27. 2a 87. x 36. 2 2 3 x 1 3 4 1 2 2 2 x3 y z t1 4 s 1 24 x2 9 5 6 96. ) 15 4 107. 2x 3 y 5 3. u2 u 6 66. x 53. a 7 70. 8c 4 x 2 c 2b 2 a b2 2 zx 24. 3 x 4 5 4 2 56. s13 10. 5 1 256 4 30. t 41. x 54. 1. 99. x 2 y 84. sx 2 3x 4 3x 4 2x sx 2 x sx 2 112. 1 sx x 49. x2 2x 4 11. r n 93. ab 5 33. x 4 x 10 79. 12x 2 x2 2 3x 2 63. 4 113. 25 95. 3 3u 1 rs 25. 4x 2 13. 2x 2 4. Not irreducible (two real roots) 6a 5b 7a 6b 4x 6 405x 78. 9 2 7 4 s85 64. 1 x1 8 x x 2 1 sx h 3 2 s2 1 x 2 x 2 2 2 9 1 2 1 x 3 x 2x 50. False . x 40. 1 2s2 1 2 s5 65. Not irreducible 72. 4 7. 16. 4a 2 c 4 4x y 5 1 y 5x 2 4x 21. x 5 x 3 x x x 52. 98. 1 s2 12x 56t 2x 3 15t 2 15. Irreducible x 1 18. s33 67. 243 77. x 6 x 81. y 6 100. False 110. x 48. 10 2. 30y 31 2x 20. 92. 1. x 51. x 2 8 6a x 6x 3 3t 2 21t 22 25x 7 9. x 47. 3x 39. 4a 2bsb 86. True x 3 2 2 ) 109. a 2n 3 82. 8. 1. ( x 60. x 44. x 4 19. t 5 2 3s 2t 3x 2 3 x 2 x 1 8 4 9 3s 94. x 3 12. 16x 10 2 31. a 3 101. yz 28. 2 5s3 91. 5 6 68. x x 45. 22.12 s ANSWERS Answers 1. 4x 38. h x x2 x x 2 6x 4 1 x 2 x 8 1 2 2 105. 103. 1 s3 90. 4x 3a 2bc 10x 6. x 29. 9x 14. x 59. 3 26 88.

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