You are on page 1of 27


Mathematics is the basic language of science and technology. It is an exact language that has a vocabulary and meaning for every term. Since math follows definite rules and behaves in the same way every time, scientists and engineers use it as their basic tool. Long before any metal is cut for a new aircraft design, there are literally millions of mathematical computations made. Aviation maintenance technicians perform their duties with the aid of many different tools. Like the wrench or screwdriver, mathematics is an essential tool in the repair and fabrication of replacement parts. With this in mind, you can see why you must be able to use this important tool.

Just as studying a new language begins with learning basic words, the study of mathematics begins with arithmetic, its most basic branch. Arithmetic uses real, non-negative numbers, which are also known as counting numbers, and consists of only four operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. While you have been using arithmetic since childhood, a review of its terms and operations will make learning the more difficult mathematical concepts much easier. To build a binary number system that corresponds to the decimal system, begin with one switch. When this switch is in the OFF position, a zero is indicated. When it is in the ON position, a one is represented. Because these are the only possibilities for a single switch, additional switches must be added to represent larger quantities. For example, a second switch represents the quantity 2. When the first switch is OFF and the second switch is ON, the quantity 2 is indicated. When both the first and second switch are ON, the 1 and 2 are added to indicate the quantity 3. This procedure of adding switches continues with each switch value doubling as you progress. For example, the first 10 values in the binary system are 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, and 512. [Figure 1-1]

Numbers are a large part of everyone's life, and you are constantly bombarded with figures. Yet little attention is paid to the basic structure of the numbering system. In daily life, most people typically use a "base ten" or decimal system. However, another numbering system that is used in computer calculations is the binary, or "base two" system. THE DECIMAL SYSTEM The decimal system is based on ten whole numbers, often called integers, from zero to nine. Above the number nine the digits are reused in various combinations to represent larger numbers. This is accomplished by arranging the numbers in columns based on a multiple of ten. With the addition of a negative (-) sign, numbers smaller than zero are indicated. To describe quantities that fall between whole numbers, fractions are used. Common fractions are used when the space between two integers is divided into equal segments such as fourths. When the space between integers is divided into ten segments, decimal fractions are typically used. THE BINARY SYSTEM Because the only real option in an electrical circuit is ON or OFF, a number system based on only two digits is used to create electronic calculations. The base two, or binary system, only utilizes the digits zero and one. For example, when a circuit is ON a one is represented, and when a circuit is OFF a zero is indicated. By converting these ON or OFF messages to represent numbers found in the decimal system, a computer can perform complex tasks.

While integers are useful in communicating a given quantity, you must be able to manipulate them to discover their full power. There are four fundamental mathematical operations with which you must be familiar. They are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. ADDITION The process of finding the total of two or more numbers is called addition. This operation is indicated by the plus (+) symbol. When numbers are combined by addition, the resulting total is called the sum. When adding whole numbers whose total is more than nine, it is necessary to arrange the numbers in columns so that the last digit of each number is in the same column. The ones column contains the values zero through nine, the tens column contains multiples often, up to ninety, and the hundreds column consists of multiples of one hundred. Example:

A remainder represents that portion of the dividend that cannot be divided by the divisor. Once all multiplicands are used as a multiplier. For example. Beginning at the right. division is the reverse of multiplication.(. To find the difference of two numbers. Multiplication is typically indicated by an (X). Figure 1-1. Subtraction is accomplished by taking the quantity of one number away from another number. When a given number is added to itself a specified number of times. The number which is subtracted is known as the subtrahend. The number multiplied (4) is called the multiplicand. and the multiplier beneath it. the quotient may include a remainder. you may add the difference to the subtrahend to find the minuend. Repeat this for each column. It makes no difference in what sequence the numbers are combined. The number divided is called the dividend. With some division problems. When multiplying numbers greater than nine. Example: 532 X 24 2128 1064 12. and the result is the quotient. and the number from which the quantity is taken is known as the minuend. 20. To check a subtraction problem. arrange them in the same manner used for addition. by the lack of any other operation sign. Division is a means of finding out how many times a number is contained in another number. multiply each digit in the multiplicand by each digit in the multiplier. the products of each multiplication operation are added to arrive at a total product. when multiplying large numbers it is important they be aligned vertically. This binary conversion chart illustrates how a decimal number is converted to a binary number. One important fact to remember when multiplying is that the order in which numbers are multiplied does not change the product. add the figures again in the same manner. . The numbers 4 and 5 are called factors and the answer. align the vertical columns so the last digits are in the same column. SUBTRACTION The process of finding the difference between two numbers is known as subtraction and is indicated by the minus (-) sign. or in reverse order from bottom to top. the binary equivalent to 48 is 110000. or in certain equations.). represents the product. the process is called multiplication. subtract the subtrahend from the minuend. the number you are dividing by is the divisor.Mathematics 1-3 Multiplication is a special form of repetitive addition. With the minuend on top and the subtrahend on the bottom.768 Multiplicand Multiplier First partial product Second partial product DIVISION Just as subtraction is the reverse of addition. Like addition and subtraction. the multiplicand should be written on top. and the multiplier represents the number of times the multiplicand is added to itself. Example: To check addition problems. Regardless of the number of digits in the multiplicand or the multiplier. The sum of 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 = 20 is expressed by multiplication as 4 x 5 = 20.

3. When creating a number line. the 3 is the dividend and the 4 is the divisor. The product of two positive numbers is always positive.75. For example. In other words. The product of a positive and a negative number is always negative. and positive values are identified by the plus (+) sign or by the absence of a sign. the result equals the dividend. For example. each resulting in a single digit quotient. This is illustrated by constructing a number line. the product must be given a sign. and those smaller than zero have a negative value. SUBTRACTING SIGNED NUMBERS When subtracting numbers with different signs. Division also is indicated in fractional form. The product of two negative numbers is always positive. negative values are identified with a minus sign (-). 1. The process of dividing large quantities is performed by breaking the problem down into a series of operations.48 Step 2: Change the operation sign to a plus sign and change the sign of the subtrahend. find the difference between the two numbers and apply the sign (+ or -) of the larger number. It makes no difference if the subtrahend is larger than the minuend. -216 . When adding a positive and negative number. ADDING SIGNED NUMBERS When adding two or more numbers with the same sign. adding a negative number is the same as subtracting a positive number. +3 . Step 1: Set up the subtraction problem. -216 + -48 = -264 MULTIPLYING SIGNED NUMBERS Multiplication of signed numbers is accomplished in the same manner as multiplication of any other number.-4 is the same as +3 + +4. Example: Subtract 48 from -216. in the fraction 3/4.1-4 Mathematic s Division is indicated by the use of the division sign O) with the dividend to the left and the divisor to the right of the sign. Once this is done. In other words. When division is carried out. whereas adding two or more negative numbers results in a negative sum. There are three rules to follow when determining a product's sign. 2. This is best illustrated by example. Figure 1-2. Mathematics . the quotient is . all numbers larger than zero have a positive value. after multiplying. ignore the sign and find the sum of the values and then place the common sign in front of the answer. The result of adding or subtracting signed numbers is called the algebraic sum of those numbers. since the operation is done as though the two quantities are added. change the operation sign to plus and change the sign of the subtrahend. However. Now add. To check a division problem for accuracy. [Figure 1-2]. If the operation is carried out properly. multiply the quotient by the divisor and add the remainder (if any). adding two or more positive numbers always results in a positive sum. or a ) with the divi dend inside the sign and the divisor to the left. SIGNED NUMBERS If zero is used as a starting point. proceed as you do in addition.

If both numbers are even. For example. 2. In this situation the fraction is greater than 1. A proper fraction is always less than 1. To . the fraction is called a proper fraction. one above and one below a line. or reduce. LEAST COMMON DENOMINATOR You cannot add or subtract common fractions without first converting all of the denominators into identical units. If the denominator is not evenly divided by the numerator. 3. the fraction is called an improper fraction. or fraction bar. The quotient of two negative numbers is always positive. 2. the fraction is equal to 1. Mixed numbers are expressed as 1 5/8 and 29 9/16 and are typically used in place of improper fractions. or denominator. divide by 10. The quotient of a positive and a negative number is always negative. For example. or numerator. If both numbers end in 0 or 5. If the numerator and denominator are identical. A fraction's value also remains the same if both the numerator and denominator are divided by the same number. the fraction 3/4 indicates that three is divided by four to find the decimal equivalent of . each part is one-third (V 3) of the number. by the bottom number. The quotient of two positive numbers is always positive. you must find a number by which the numerator and denominator are divided evenly. divide by 5. When neither the numerator or denominator can be divided evenly. For example. When a fraction's numerator is smaller than the denominator. If both numbers end in 0. This type of operation allows you to simplify. large fractions to their smallest terms.75. 1. Example: Reduce 15/45 to its lowest terms. This process is known as finding the least common denominator (LCD). The simplest reductions occur when the denominator is divisible by the numerator. One way this is done is by multiplying the numerator and denominator by the same number. The sign of the quotient is determined using rules identical to those used in multiplication. the quickest way to find the least common denominator for V3 and V2 is to multiply the two denominators (3x2 = 6). The fraction bar indicates division of the top number. 3. Here are a few tips to help in the selection of divisors: 1. If the numerator is larger than the denominator. A mixed number is the combination of a whole number and a proper fraction. divide by 2. Example: REDUCING FRACTIONS COMMON FRACTIONS A common fraction represents a portion or part of a quantity. The numerator and denominator of a fraction can be changed without changing the fraction's value. Example: It is generally considered good practice to reduce fractions to their lowest terms. Step 1: Divide both the numerator and denominator by 5. the fraction is reduced to its lowest terms.7-5 DIVIDING SIGNED NUMBERS Like multiplying signed numbers. A fraction consists of two numbers. division of signed numbers is accomplished in the same manner as dividing any other number. if a number is divided into three equal parts.

ADDING MIXED NUMBERS Step 1: Rewrite using the least common denominator. once this is done. To convert a mixed number to an improper fraction. the sum is usually another improper fraction. you must convert the mixed numbers to improper fractions.7-6 Mathematic s determine the numerators. if possible. multiply the numerator by the same number used to obtain the LCD. you should convert it to a mixed number. subtract the numerators. you must convert them to improper fractions. Example: Add the following: 2^3 + 3 Step 2: Add the numerators and reduce to lowest terms. express the difference over the LCD. multiply the whole number by the denominator and add the product to the numerator. The sum of these two numbers becomes the numerator. divide the numerator by the denominator to determine the whole number. However. When faced with an improper fraction in an answer. determine the least common denominator and add in the same manner as with proper fractions. you only need to add the numerators to arrive at a sum. and reduce the answer to its lowest terms. you cannot add common fractions without first determining the least common denominator. Before adding or subtracting mixed numbers. Example: MIXED NUMBERS Mixed numbers contain both whole numbers and proper fractions. l 4+ 5^ 2 Step 1: Convert each to an improper fraction. ADDING COMMON FRACTIONS As mentioned earlier. When adding improper fractions. This answer is then reduced to its lowest terms. Once this is accomplished. Example: Subtract 2/8 from V3 Step 1: Rewrite using the least common denominator. 14 + 12 4 12 12 When adding mixed numbers. SUBTRACTING COMMON FRACTIONS Subtracting fractions also requires an LCD to be determined. . either to other mixed numbers or to proper fractions. leave it in fractional form. Once accomplished. To do this. If there is a remainder.

Simplify by cancellation. Step 2: Reduce to lowest terms. Convert the improper fraction to a mixed number. Furthermore. they can be removed from the equation. To complete the problem. SIMPLIFY FRACTIONS FOR MULTIPLICATION It was mentioned earlier that the value of a fraction does not change when you perform the same operation (multiplication or division) on both the numerator and denominator. Example: Step 3: Convert to a mixed number.Mathematics 1-7 Step 3. You can use this principle to simplify the multiplication of fractions. . Once converted. SUBTRACTING MIXED NUMBERS To subtract a mixed number from another mixed number or proper fraction. the 4 in the numerator reduces to 1 and the 16 reduces to 4. convert the resulting improper fraction into a mixed number. the 16 in the denominator is divisible by the 4 in the numerator. The resulting fraction is then reduced to its lowest terms. and multiplying the individual denominators to form the product denominator. Since these are equivalent values. find the LCD and perform the subtraction. Example: Multiply the following: 8/32 x 5/8 x 4/16 Step 1: Multiply the numerators and the denominators. when both are divided by 4. For example. begin by converting the mixed number to an improper fraction. then multiply: MULTIPLYING FRACTIONS Multiplication of fractions is performed by multiplying the numerators of each fraction to form the product numerator. 8/32 x 5/8 X 4/ie is equivalent to 8x5x4 32 x 8 x 16 Notice that there is an 8 in the numerator and denominator. Therefore.

SUBTRACTING DECIMALS DECIMALS Working with fractions is typically time consuming and complex. Improper fractions are converted to decimals in the same manner.32 53514 80271 856224 8. care must be taken to correctly align the decimal points vertically.005 is read as five tenths is read as five hundredths is read as five thousandths Like adding.50. multiply the denominators to obtain a new denominator.50 MULTIPLYING DECIMALS When multiplying decimals. and add. The decimal equivalent of 3/4 is .4 + 0. 2. Example: Divide 2/3 by V4. However. whole numbers appear to the left of the decimal point. In other words. how much ballast remains? 325.75 pounds.237 31. Again. count the number of digits to the right of the decimal point in both the multiplier and multiplicand. numerically. Example: If you have 325. the decimal point in the answer is placed directly below the other decimal points.78 + 5. This number represents the number of places from the left the decimal point is placed in the product. 2. multiply the numerators to obtain a new numerator.5 .5000 are the same.25 pounds of ballast on board and remove 30. Example: Add the following: 25. 25. In a decimal.25 . the number of zeros to the right of the decimal does not affect the value as long as no other number except zero appears.56224 3 decimal places 2 decimal places When writing decimals. the second hundredths.30. Example: 26.75. Example: .78 5. and reduce the quotient to its lowest terms. One way you can eliminate fractions in complex equations is by replacing them with decimal fractions or decimals. However. or turning over.237 Step 1: Rewrite with the decimal points aligned. and 2. it is important that you keep the decimal points aligned. the third thousandths.1-8 Mathematics DIVIDING FRACTIONS Division of common fractions is accomplished by inverting. it is important that you invert the divisor only and not the dividend. ignore the decimal points and multiply the resulting whole numbers. subtracting decimals is done in the same manner as with whole numbers. Once the divisor is inverted.05 .5.417 Once everything is added. For example. 3/4 is converted to a decimal by dividing the 3 by the 4.75 294. A common fraction is converted to a decimal fraction by dividing the numerator by the denominator. Once the product is calculated. Step 1: Invert the divisor and multiply. each digit represents a multiple of ten. However. The first digit represents tenths. Count 5 decimal places to . ADDING DECIMALS The addition of decimals is done in the same manner as the addition of whole numbers.4 + 0.757 X . the divisor and then multiplying.

the left of the 4 .

When the number to the right of the last retained digit is less than 5. For example. When the divisor is a decimal fraction. when the decimal in the divisor is moved.26 by 2. which is written as 125/1000. Now multiply 200 by . CONVERTING DECIMALS TO FRACTIONS Although decimals are typically easier to work with. This process of retaining a certain number of digits and discarding the rest is known as rounding. when rounding 3. Example: Convert 0. . Step 1: Rewrite as a fraction. In other words. 5/8 expressed as a decimal is 0. they are usually limited to a workable size. 2.167 to 2 decimal places. there are times when the use of a fraction is more practical. the operation is carried out in the same manner as division of whole numbers. However. For example. For example. PERCENTAGE Percentages are special fractions whose denominator is 100. which is the last retained digit.625. to ensure accurate placement of the decimal point in the quotient.10 to arrive at a value of 20. You can convert common fractions to percentages by first converting them to decimal fractions. Step 2: Move the decimal in the dividend the same number of places to the right. when measuring something. increase the last retained digit to the next highest value. However.17.125 is read as 125 thousandths. two rules apply: 1. Example: Divide 37. The decimal fraction 0. convert a decimal number into a fraction.5%. the decimal in the dividend must also move in the same direction and the same num ber of spaces. the rounded number is 3.Mathematic s 1-9 DIVIDING DECIMALS When dividing decimals. To find the percentage of a number. For example. the dec imal point in the quotient aligns vertically with the decimal in the dividend when doing long division. Since 7 is greater than 5. the retained number is an approximation of the computed number. and is converted to a percentage by moving the decimal right two places. and then multiplying by 100. begin by converting 10% to its decimal equivalent which is . Rounding is accomplished by viewing the digit immediately to the right of the last retained digit. it should first be converted to a whole number by moving the decimal point to the right.10.7 Step 1: Move the decimal in the divisor to the right to convert it to a whole number. For this reason it is important that you know how to . If this number is 5 or greater. This fraction is then reduced to its lowest terms. to find 10% of 200.625 into a common fraction. multiply the number by the decimal equivalent of the percentage. becoming 62. When the divisor is a whole number. the 7 determines what is done to the 6.33 is the same as 33 /100 and is equivalent to 33 percent or 33%. leave the last retained digit unchanged. ROUNDING DECIMALS Because decimal numbers can often be carried out an unreasonable number of places. For example. most scales are in fractional increments.

Next. if 4. For example. the product of the extremes is equal to the product of the means. The number of times a base number is multiplied by itself is expressed as an exponent and . In any proportion. let "x" represent the unknown value. the gear ratio of a drive gear with 15 teeth to a driven gear with 45 teeth is 15:45 or 1:3 when reduced.400. To solve for (x).68 x 100 = 68% power is developed. multiply the extremes to get 3x. _3_ _ Engine Speed 2 Propeller Speed A_ 2 270Q x 3x = 5. it is said to be raised to a given power.800 rpm. This results in a revolution ratio of 3:1.700.400 x = 1. A proportion is a statement of equality between two or more ratios and represents a convenient way to solve problems involving ratios. In other words. In this example. if an engine turns at 4. or 5 to 3. if an engine has a reduction gear ratio between the crankshaft and the propeller of 3:2.700 : x. the ratio of the two speeds is 4. if 4. which in this case is the speed of the propeller. when reduced to lowest terms. For example.400 rpm. 6x6 = 36. The use of ratios is common in aviation. since the drive gear has one third as many teeth as the driven gear.000 rpm and the propeller turns at 2. For instance. you must divide the first number by the second and multiply the quotient by 100.38 = 11.180. 4. set up a proportional statement using the fractional form. For example. when working with gears. However.700 rpm.400 x = 1. For example. and the engine is turning 2. divide 85 by 125 and multiply the quotient by 100.180 -r .180 rpm is 38% of the maximum. This results in the identical equation derived earlier.2. what is the speed of the propeller? In this problem.180 rpm. In the problem above. Another way percentages are used is to determine a number when only a portion of the number is known. which is the ratio of cylinder displacement when the piston is at bottom center to the cylinder displacement when the piston is at top center.800 rpm This same proportion may also be expressed as 3:2 = 2. by the decimal equivalent of the percentage. you must divide the known quantity. therefore. then the maximum rpm must be greater than 4. One way to avoid making this error is to look at the problem and determine what exactly is being asked. For example. What percentage of the total power available is developed? To solve this. cross multiply to arrive at the equation 3x = 2 x 2. The first and last terms of the proportion are called the extremes. 3/2 = 2700/x. Another typical ratio is that of different gear sizes.400. or 5. what is the maximum speed? To determine this. This relationship can also be expressed as 5/3 or 5:3. One ratio you must be familiar with is compression ratio. For example.1-10 Mathematic s If you want to find the percentage one number is of another. if the volume of a cylinder with the piston at bottom center is 96 cubic inches and the volume with the piston at top center is 12 cubic inches.000 to 2. 62 = 36.38. The only way to get an answer that meets this criterion is to divide by .700 : x 3x = 2 : 2. Example: 4.700 3x = 5.800 rpm RATIO AND PROPORTION A ratio provides a means of comparing one number to another. let's say an engine develops 85 horsepower of a possible 125 horsepower.180 rpm is 38% of the maximum speed. This means that for every one tooth on the drive gear there are three teeth on the driven gear. To solve this equation. of teeth is opposite the ratio of revolutions. 3:2 = engine speed : propeller speed 3:2 .400. which is opposite the ratio of teeth. the drive gear must complete three revolutions to turn the driven gear one revolution. 3x = 5.400. divide 5. the ratio POWERS AND ROOTS When a number is multiplied by itself.700. Example: 85 -r 125 = . The speed of the propeller is 1.400 by 3. and the second and third terms are called the means. the compression ratio is 96:12 or 8:1 when simplified. or 5. and multiply the means to get 2 x 2.000 rpm maximum A common mistake made on this type of problem is multiplying by the percentage instead of dividing.

it indicates you are to extract the square root of the number under the sign. When a number is written without an exponent. 4 is a root of 16 because when multiplied by itself. Once this is done.000 = 2. you must multiply the number by 0.000004 is equal to 4. that is raised to the zero power equals 1. To ease . However. the value of the exponent is assumed to be 1. 3 X 3 =9 23 is read "2 cubed" or "2 to the third power. [Figure 1-3] A negative exponent implies division or fraction of a number. and you want to move the decimal point to get a number between 1 and 10. Example: 32 is read "3 squared" or "3 to the second power. For example. when multiplied by itself.540.000. convert each of the numbers being multiplied to scientific notation.0 x 106. multiply the number you want to change by a power of ten equal to the number of places you want to move the decimal point. except zero. which is 106. equals that number. If only the radical sign appears over a number. which is 10'6.000.54 x 106 As you can see. the resulting number must be multiplied by a power of ten equal to 1.Mathematics 1-11 is written to the right and slightly above the base number. When asked to extract a root other than a square root. when multiplied by itself a certain number of times. Scientific notation is based on multiplying a number by a power of ten.000004 = 4. The symbol used to indicate a root is the radical sign (V) placed over the number. the product is 16. or reciprocal of the number with its exponent made positive. the cube root of 64 is expressed as SCIENTIFIC NOTATION Many engineering and scientific calculations involve very large or very small numbers. Since the decimal point was moved 6 places to the right. Example: 23 is read "2 to the negative third power. The root of a number is that value which. Therefore. A positive exponent indicates how many times a number is multiplied by itself. 4 is also a root of 64 because 4 x 4 x 4 = 64. 0. It indicates the inverse. For example. The square root of a number is the root of that number.0 x 10"6 MULTIPLYING BY SCIENTIFIC NOTATION Multiplication of very large or very small numbers is often made easier when using scientific notation. 23 ~ 2 X 2 X 2 " 8 Any number." Its value is found by multiplying 2 by itself 3 times. the product is found by multiplying the numbers and finding the algebraic sum of the exponents. the decimal point was moved six places. or reciprocal of 2~3 with its exponent made positive is Figure 1-3. Example: 2. When using scientific notation. scientific notation is used. count the number of places you want to move the decimal point and multiply the number by a power of ten. If the number you are working with is smaller than 1. an index number is placed outside the radical sign." Its value is found by multiplying 3 by itself. the exponent is assumed to be positive. you must understand how to use exponents. Furthermore. For example. This table illustrates a portion of both the positive and negative powers of ten. 0.000001. if the exponent does not have a sign (+ or -) preceding it. 2 X 2 X 2 = 8 manipulation and decrease the possibility for error. To begin." The inverse. The net result does not change the value of the number. only the way it is written. produces that number. therefore.

5 X 101 Step 2: Multiply the numbers and add the exponents. Perform the division operation as you nor- Step 2: Divide the numbers and subtract the exponents.280 by 0.275 = 2.25 = 2. you must calculate the algebraic sum of the exponents. Example: Divide 5. .25 using scientific notation.1-12 Mathematic s Example: Multiply 0.000 = 3.28 X 103) -r ( 2.275 x 30.0 x 104) = 8. Pay attention to the signs of the exponents. Step 1: Convert to scientific notation. when multiplying or dividing using scientific notation.280 = 5. and find the power of ten by subtracting the exponents. 5. and observe the rules for adding and subtracting signed numbers.0 using scientific notation.000. (2.112 X 104 Remember. Step 1: Convert to scientific notation. 0.25 x 103 DIVISION BY SCIENTIFIC NOTATION Division using scientific notation is performed in a manner similar to multiplication.75 X 101 30. Begin by converting the numbers to their scientific notation equivalents.0 x 10 4 mally would.28 X 103 0. (5.75 x 101) X (3.5 X 10"1) = 2.

divide both the numerator and denominator by 9. "x" represents the unknown quantity. you calculate the time (T) required of 3 hours. since the 60 in the numerator is divisible by the 2 in the denominator. you are left with the formula which is equivalent to x = 30 miles. The equation now reads x = 48 . To find the value of "x. For example. miles. x T = 600 n. First. In another example.m. consider fractions. Through algebra. Once simplified. the numerator and denominator can be changed without changing the fraction's value as long as you do the same operation to both. others are fairly simple and straightforward. or variable." The equation is 200 kts. "What is 24 divided by 3?" This is written in an algebraic sentence in the form 24 -r 3 = x. For example. For example. Since "Hour" is in each element. ALGEBRAIC RULES There are some basic rules you must use to simplify and solve algebraic equations. an equation is set up with the unknown variable of time represented by the letter "T. This section introduces you to the basic algebra you need to know to perform your duties as an aviation maintenance technician. Example: This same principle also is used to simplify fractions and cancel out units such as gallons. In this example.ALGEBRA Algebra is a form of arithmetic that uses letters or symbols to represent numbers in equations and formulas. your first step should be to set up an equation. As discussed earlier. it cancels. The purpose of the equation is to identify two equal quantities. This is often useful in reducing or combining fractions. For example. in the given equation EQUATIONS One way to express a math problem is to write it out in words. both fig ures reduce. when added to 23. For example. the equation reads x = 25. to reduce 18/45 to its lowest terms. when working with fractions. once you get a math problem set up in an equation. While some forms of algebra are extremely complex. The expression 24 ~ 3 = x is called an equation. The equation used to solve this problem is 23 + x = 48. how long will it take to fly 600 nautical miles? To solve this problem.23. the problem is fairly easy to solve." subtract 23 from both sides of the equation. x = . Example: Step 1: Convert the word problem to an equation. Typically. you are solving for. if asked to determine what quantity. or foot-pounds. results in 48. if an airplane cruises at 200 knots. Therefore. Furthermore. Once complete. determine the number of revolutions a gear completes in 30 seconds when the gear turns at 100 revolutions per minute (rpm).

= 30 . If this is not done.16 x = 14 equation and the label gallons cancels out on the left. USE OF PARENTHESES In algebra. However. Another important rule you must follow when solving algebraic equations is to never perform an operation to one side of an equation without performing the identical operation to the other side. 16 is subtracted from both sides of the equation. You could. Example: x + 16 = 30 Subtract 16 from both sides to solve for x. Addition and Subtraction: Once the opera tions of multiplication and division are done.9 gallons. subtract. or divide on one side of an equation as long as you do the same thing to the other side. only one of these results in the correct answer. suppose you want to determine your car's gas mileage. in the expression 10 x (8 + 7). x+ 16 . 30 miles X 17. The proper order for performing mathematical operations is as follows. Furthermore. When using parentheses. For example. Now. For example.2). How many miles per gallon did the car get? To begin. When solving complex equations. build an equation and let "x" = miles per gallon. when solving the equation x + 16 = 30." The 17. Your owner's manual says the car has a fuel capacity of 17. In other words. you can add. suppose you are planning a trip and want to know how far you can drive without stopping for gas. For example. then added 9 gallons to the tank. the absence of an operation sign between a number and a parenthetical statement indicates multiplication. 1. you may add and subtract from left to right. 4. for example. For example. Parentheses: Operations contained in paren theses are always done first.16 . the 8 and 7 must be added first. parentheses indicate an operation that must be carried out before any other operation. when solving the equation 4 x 3 + 2 x 5 .8) = -2 or -6 . You filled the gas tank and drove 270 miles. it is possible to arrive at several different answers by doing the math operations in different orders. it is the same as multiplying -1 by each of the quantities within the parentheses.4 + 8 = -2 SOLVING FOR A VARIABLE Most of the algebra you do in everyday life requires you to solve for a variable. the problem reads A memory aid used to remember the proper order of operations is the mnemonic "Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. the only way you can arrive at the correct answer is if you follow the correct order of operations. 8(3-2) is the same as 8 x (3 . it may be difficult to determine the appropriate label for the answer. Multiplication and Division: The operations of multiplication and division are performed from left to right after exponents. For example. 3. Example: -(6 + 4 . if a negative sign (-) precedes the parentheses.7-74 Mathematic s It is important to keep all labels in an equation. multiply before you add. or work the equation from left to right. exponent operations are done. multiply. add before you multiply. 2.9 gallons cancels out on the right side of the . Do the multiplication to solve for x.9 = x miles 537 = x miles The car's range is 537 miles. Using the same formula used to calculate miles per gallon. Exponents: Once all operations within parenthe ses are complete.

a problem of this type is fairly simple to solve when you observe the basic rules of signed numbers and follow the proper order of operations.22)2 Perform the calculations in parentheses first. x = V2. x = V2. Apply the correct order of operations to solving this equation.. calculations typically go smoother and you obtain the right answer.Mathematics 7-75 If you perform mathematical operations in the proper order. .2462 + (. they also allow you to use the complex formulas frequently found in the study of electricity and weight and balance computations. While it may seem complex. When an equation is presented in the form of a fraction. and that you did not do the division for the fraction after multiplication. Do the operations within the square root sign in the proper order before extracting the root. x = (18) (4) + 9 (14) V16 Now COMPLEX EQUATIONS The algebraic rules presented in this section are not only useful for answering test questions. 72 + 126 Vl6 Add the terms in the numerator.2654 Extract the root.1. The importance of proper order becomes clear when you begin performing more complex equations. x = V5. 2 x = (12 + 6) (2) + 9 (14) Vl6 Do the operations in parentheses contained in the numerator.5 elements within the square root sign. x = V5. 198 Vl6 Calculate the square root in the denominator. The same is true for operations within a square root sign. 198 4 = 49.47)2 Exponent work is done next. complete all operations in the numerator and denominator before you reduce the fraction.0445 + . 198 Reduce the fraction to a decimal number.2209 Add the multiply from left to right. Notice that you now have a fraction.75 .2462 + (. Work the following equation.

given a sheet of aluminum that is 48 inches wide by 12 feet long. For example.). both measurements must reflect the same unit of measure. and calculate the surface area of a wing. which has two equal angles. Triangles are further classified by the measurement of one angle. Three basic types of triangles you should be familiar with are: the scalene triangle. ft. In an obtuse triangle. and is quite useful in aviation maintenance. = 48 sq. However. The same formula used for a rectangle is used to find the area of a square. By converting the width of 48 inches to feet. The vertex is a common endpoint. a right triangle is one that has one angle measuring 90 degrees. This same relationship holds true for other units of measure such as square feet. multiply 48 square feet by 144 which is the number of square inches in a square foot. since all sides of a square are of equal length. square yards. and the isosceles triangle. any side may be the base. THE SQUARE A square is a symmetrical plane in which all four sides are of equal length. trigonometry plays a large part in the theory of alternating current. one angle is greater than 90 degrees. while in an acute triangle all angles are less than 90 degrees. The altitude of a triangle is the height of the vertex above the base. before the mathematical operation can be carried out. the equilateral triangle. . x 4 ft. you must convert either the width to feet or the length to inches. and square meters. which has equal sides and equal angles. the formula is sometimes expressed as the square of the sides or: A = S2 THE TRIANGLE The triangle is a three-sided figure consisting of three angles whose combined measurement equals 180 degrees. It is distinguished by having opposite sides of equal length. determine the volume of a fuel tank. On the other hand. If you later find that you need the area in square inches rather than square feet. the base of a triangle is the side the triangle rests or stands on. and volumes of geometric shapes. the area of the sheet of aluminum is calculated to be 48 square feet (12 ft. Depending on a triangle's orientation.GEOMETRY AND TRIGONOMETRY Geometry is the measurement of dimensions. areas. or the point where the sides of the triangle meet. There are several terms associated with triangles. An area that is square and measures one inch on each side is called a square inch. trigonometry allows you to determine unknown lengths and angles of a triangle.912 square inches. The result is 6. However. In fact. For example. The area (A) of a rectangle is found by multiplying its length (L) by its width (W). In addition to aiding you when fabricating sheet metal. a rectangle is a four-sided plane. it is geometry that allows you to calculate the displacement of a cylinder. or A = L x W. COMPUTING AREA The area of a surface is two dimensional and is expressed in square units. The area of a figure is equal to the number of square units the figure contains. and four angles each equal to 90 degrees. For instance. THE RECTANGLE As you know. square miles. which consists of three unequal angles and sides.

. A = 45 square inches THE PARALLELOGRAM The parallelogram. [Figure 1-4] Find the area of a triangle whose base is 6 inches and height is 15 inches. has opposite sides that are parallel and equal in length. the area of the triangle is exactly one-half that of the rectangle. A = -6X15 Step 2: Perform multiplication. like the rectangle. The height is measured perpendicular to the length. Step 1: Insert given values into the formula. similar to the way the altitude of a triangle is determined. or V2 bh.Mathematics 1-17 Figure 1-4. the formula for calculating the area of a triangle is one-half the base times the height. the corner angles of a parallelogram are some measurement other than 90 degrees. The area of a parallelogram is calculated by multiplying the length by the height (A = 1 x h). The area of a triangle is calculated with the formula A = V2 bh. The shaded portion of each rectangle is equal in area to the triangle that is not shaded. If a triangle is set in a rectangle and the triangle's base and height are equal to two of the rectangle's sides. Therefore. However.

This relationship is represented by the Greek letter pi (TT). However.1-18 Mathematics THE TRAPEZOID A trapezoid is a four-sided figure that has one set of parallel sides. For example. remember that 1 cubic foot holds 7.1416. Volumes are calculated in cubic units.54 square inches COMPUTING VOLUME Solids are objects with three dimensions: length. This is expressed with the formula: from the center to the line forming the circle is called the radius. and cubic centimeters. and the distance around the circle is known as the circumference. if a circle has a diameter of 10 inches. which in this case equals the sum of the parallel sides. the trapezoid's area is equal to one-half the product of the base times the height. . to convert cubic inches to gallons.1416 X25 A = 78. The distance A = 3. If you lay two trapezoids side by side so the top and bottom sides form straight lines.1416 x 10 C = 31. If converting cubic feet to gallons. Regardless of the size of the circle. and height. or calculate the displacement of a cylinder. For example.1416 X5 2 A = 3. pi is a constant. Every point on the line forming a circle is an equal distance from the center. a parallelogram is formed with a base that is equal to the combined length of the trapezoid's parallel sides. because the area of a single trapezoid is one-half that of the parallelogram. The circumference of a circle is found by multiplying pi times the diameter. and is equal to 3. such as cubic inches. determine the circumference and area. divide the total number of cubic inches by 231. and the area is calculated by multiplying pi times the square of the radius. width. However. As discussed earlier. The diameter of a circle is represented by a line that touches two points on the outside of the circle and passes through the circle's center. the area of a parallelogram is found by multiplying the length. Example: Circumference = TTD C = 3.416 inches Area = TTT2 THE CIRCLE A circle is a closed figure bounded by a single curved line. cubic feet. by the height. figure the capacity of a cargo area.5 gallons. The circumference has a definite relationship with the diameter. Having the ability to calculate volume enables you to determine the capacity of a fuel tank or reservoir. volumes are easily converted to useful terms such as gallons. The ratio of the circumference to the diameter of a circle is always pi.

VOLUME = n r2H V = 3. The formula is expressed as: Volume = 7ir2H D = 8 inches H = 8 inches VOLUME V V = LxWxH =24x18x12 = 5.1416 x42x 8 V = 402.1248 . Since all dimensions of a cube are identical.Mathematics 1-19 VOLUME OF A RECTANGLE The volume of a rectangular solid is found by multiplying the dimensions of length. When calculating volume. its area is calculated by multiplying one dimension by itself three times. The formula for determining the volume of a rectangular solid is: V-LxWxH Where: V = volume L = length W = width H = height VOLUME OF A CYLINDER A cylinder is a solid with circular ends and parallel sides. Its volume is found by multiplying the area of one end by the cylinder's height. and height.184 CUBIC INCHES VOLUME OF A CUBE A cube is a solid with equal sides. it is important that all measurements be in like terms. width.

you must be familiar with how these ratios are derived. and is used in aircraft systems for hydraulic accumulators and liquid oxygen converters. calculate the volume of a sphere with a diameter of 6 inches.4 cubic inches Once you know the volume of one cylinder. VOLUME OF A SPHERE A sphere is any round body having a surface on which all points are an equal distance from the center of the sphere. by definition. you must first cube the diameter and multiply the resulting value by 0. The total piston displacement is defined as the total volume displaced by all the pistons during one crankshaft revolution. Trigonometric relations of a right triangle.5236. examine the three relationships that exist within this triangle. A sphere has the greatest volume for its surface area. Because trigonometry is a based on the ratio of the sides of a right triangle to one another. Stroke is defined as the distance the head of a piston travels from bottom center to top center. Side a is the side opposite angle A. or diameter. TRIGONOMETRIC FUNCTIONS Trigonometry basically deals with the relationships that exist within a right triangle and is commonly used in the shop for sheet metal layout. one cylinder of a four-cylinder aircraft engine has a bore. If you want to find the volume of a sphere that is 6 inches in diameter.5236.1-20 Mathematic s As a technician. D = 6 INCHES VOLUME = 1/6 7i D3 V = . To calculate the displacement of an entire engine.1416 x 22 x 6 Volume = 75. which. of four inches and the piston has a stroke of six inches. you can use this formula to calculate piston displacement. angle A.1667x3. For example. For example. Piston displacement is defined as the volume of air displaced by a piston as it moves from bottom center to top center. you can calculate the engine's total displacement. or next to. multiply the volume of one cylinder by the number of cylinders on the engine. Using these labels. What is the total cylinder displacement? Where: Bore = 4 inches Stroke = 6 inches Volume = 77-r2H Volume = 3. V = 113.1416x216 Figure 1-5. Angle C is the right angle (9021). For this explanation. or 0. and side b is the side adjacent. angle A is the angle for which you are setting up the relationships. The volume of a sphere is determined by multiplying the cube of the diameter by a factor which is V6 pi. is the side opposite the right angle.1 CUBIC INCHES . Side c is the hypotenuse. Figure 1-5 illustrates a right triangle with the sides and angles labeled for identification.

[Figure 1-6] By referring back to figure 1-5. When the angle is greater than 4522. The cosine of 3022 is 0. The names of the columns at the bottom are opposite the names at the top of the same column.500. feet. use the column headings at the bottom of the chart. which is written Sin 3022. this ratio is constant. The third ratio appearing on the Trigonometric Function Table is Tangent (Tan). and pounds. the customary units of measurement include the English units of inches. the ratio is 0. is 0. use the columns labeled on the top. In the trig table. and thermometers. For any degree of angle A. to the length of the hypotenuse.8660 and tells you that the length of the side adjacent to the 3022 angle is 0. The United States government legalized the use of the metric system in 1866. you see that the Sine (Sin) of angle A is the ratio of the length of the side opposite the angle to the length of the hypotenuse. The Cosine (Cos) of an angle is the ratio of the length of the side adjacent to the angle. However. . or one-half the length of the hypotenuse. they are often times presented in a Table of Trigonometric Functions. indicating the side opposite the 4522 angle is 0. ounces. This means that the side opposite a 3022 angle is 50%. We are still in a time of slow conversion to the metric system and in many cases both Metric and English units appear together on packaging. THE METRIC SYSTEM The metric system is the dominant language of measurement in use today. The meter as a standard was developed in France and adopted by the National Assembly of France in the late 18th century.Mathematics 1-21 Because trigonometric relationships are constant for a given angle. While these units have proved functional for many years. Each of Figure 1-6. the sine of 3022. The metric system is built on decimal units. Trigonomic tables usually only list the angles to 45 degrees. the numbers in the left-hand column go from 022 to 4522 whereas the numbers in the right-hand column begin at 4522 and continue to 9022. Cosine is found on the same table used to find the sine of the angle. In this table. regardless of the size of the triangle. in the United States.7071.7071 times the length of the hypotenuse. but it was not until the Metric Bill of 1975 that its use became common.8660 times the length of the hypotenuse. they are cumbersome to convert. This is the ratio of the length of the side opposite the angle to the length of the side adjacent the angle. For a 4522 angle. Each basic unit is divided or multiplied by ten as many times as necessary to get a convenient size. speedometers. When reading values for angles less than 4522.

The unit of time is the second. is the gram. Either one is easily obtainable. While you still need a basic understanding of mathematical operations and logic. certain mathematical hardware offers increases in both calculating speed and accuracy. The metric unit of mass. formerly called degree Centigrade. and is approximately 39 inches. portable. The unit of temperature is the degree Celsius. Conversion from English to Metric systems is accomplished in a variety of ways. or the electronic calculator. there are calculators with function keys for many of the operations discussed in the chapter. symbol. The unit of electrical current is the ampere. There is no "right" calculator for the aviation maintenance technician. Listed are the common prefixes. The unit of luminous intensity is the candela. This hardware often takes the form of detailed function tables. [Figure 1-8] MATHEMATICAL HARDWARE While there is no substitute for a basic understanding of mathematical principles and proficiency in performing mathematical operations. or weight. symbols. The selection of a calculator should be based on its anticipated use. As a technician. which is now called SI. All other units of measurement in the International System of Units. The unit of length is called the meter. . Figure 1-7. The Decimal Equivalent chart (Figure 1-9) and the Function of Numbers chart (Figure 1-10) are presented for the convenience of making common calculations. As you become familiar with the information presented on these charts you will begin to see the advantages of "ready-made" computations. [Figure 1-7] electronic calculators now have specific function keys for making these conversions. There are also several charts that supply conversion factors. and multiples for basic metric quantities.1-22 Mathematic s the multiples has a definite prefix. and easy to use. However. the calculator typically helps increase speed and reduce errors. you must be familiar with each of them. and name. There are six base units in the metric system. are derived from these six. Many hand-held ELECTRONIC CALCULATORS The advent of the inexpensive hand-held electronic calculator has changed forever the way mathematical operations are performed.

. Metric conversion factors.Mathematic s 1-23 Figure 1-8.

7-24 Mathematic s Figure 1-9. . Decimal Equivalent Chart.

. Function of Numbers Chart.Mathematic s 1-25 Figure 1-10.

1-26 Mathematic s Figure 1-10. . Function of Numbers Chart.