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You are on page 1of 4

For

,

(

), are

not rational, and cannot be obtained by factoring. For such equations, the

most common method of solution is the quadratic formula.

Note: The quadratic formula can be used to solve ANY quadratic equation,

even those that can be factored. Be sure you know this very useful

formula!!!

Examples:

1.

By factoring

(this equation is

factorable):

By Quadratic Formula: a = 1, b =

2, c = -8

Hints:

Be careful with the

signs of the values a,

b and c. Don't drop the

sign when substituting

into the formula.

Also remember your

rules for multiplying

and adding signed

numbers as you solve

the formula.

2.

This equation cannot be solved by

factoring.

By Quadratic Formula: a = 3, b = -10, c =

5

Hints:

Notice how the value for b was

substituted into the formula using

parentheses (-10). This helps you to

remember to deal with the negative value

of b.

Also, notice how the (-10)2 is actually a

positive value. When you square a

value, the answer is always positive.

If needed, these answers can be estimated

as decimal values, such as (rounded to 3

decimal places):

x = 2.721;

x = 0.613

The radical answers are the "exact"

answers.

The decimal answers are "approximate"

answers.

3.

This equation cannot be solved by

factoring.

By Quadratic Formula: a = 1, b = 4, c =

5

Hints:

Remember that a negative value under

the radical is creating an imaginary

number (a number with an i).

4.

By factoring

(this equation is

factorable):

-4, c = 4

When the value under

the radical turns to

zero, there will appear to

be only one answer to the

problem (since the

plus/minus option is

gone). This really means

that the one root is

repeating itself, as seen in

the factoring solution.

5.

Whoa!! Stop the presses!!!

This problem cannot be solved using

the Quadratic Formula

until it is set equal to zero.

By Quadratic Formula: a = 2, b =

1, c = -1/2

Hints:

The quadratic formula is derived from the quadratic equation by a process called

"completing the square". Here is how it was developed:

The process used here is explained in

more detail under completing the

square .

Isolate the variable terms. Move the

constant, c, to the right.

Prepare to form a perfect square on the

left.

To obtain the constant value needed for

the perfect square, take half of the

coefficient of the x-term and square

it. Add this value to both sides of the

equation.

Find a common denominator on the

right.

Combine terms on the right.

Write the perfect square on the left.

Take the square root of both sides.

Simplify the denominator from the

square root.

Subtract the constant away from the x.

Finally, the quadratic formula

appears. Whew!!!

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