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Absolute Value and Distance

Absolute Value in Equations and Inequalities

Absolute Value and Radicals

Absolute Value We start with a geometric definition of absolute value. If a is the coordinate of a point

and Distance on a real number line, then the distance from the origin to a is represented by a and

is referred to as the absolute value of a. Thus, 5 5, since the point with coordi-

nate 5 is five units from the origin, and 6 6, since the point with coordinate 6

is six units from the origin (Fig.1).

6 6 5 5

x

6 0 5

if x 0

aFDbDFc

x 4 4

x

x if x 0 3 (3) 3

Both the geometric and nongeometric definitions of absolute value are useful, as

will be seen in the material that follows. Remember:

(B) 3 (3 ) 3 Since 3 is negative

3 3

9

38 1 Equations and Inequalities

Following the same reasoning used in Example 1, the next theorem can be proved

(see Problem 79 in Exercise 1-4).

b a a b

We use this result in defining the distance between two points on a real number

line.

Let A and B be two points on a real number line with coordinates a and b,

respectively. The distance between A and B is given by

d(A, B) b a

This distance is also called the length of the line segment joining A and B.

Find the distance between points A and B with coordinates a and b, respectively, as

given.

d(A, B) 9 4 5 5

Solutions (A) x

0 A 5 B 10

d(A, B) 4 9 5 5

(B) x

0 B 5 A 10

d(A, B) 6 0 6 6

(C) x

0 5 B 10

A

d(A, B) d(B, A)

1-4 Absolute Value in Equations and Inequalities 39

Hence, in computing the distance between two points on a real number line, it does

not matter how the two points are labeledpoint A can be to the left or to the right

of point B. Note also that if A is at the origin O, then

d(O, B) b 0 b

Matched Problem 2 Use the number line below to find the indicated distances.

A B O C D

x

10 5 0 5 10

(D) d(A, C ) (E) d(O, A) (F) d(D, A)

Absolute Value in The interplay between algebra and geometry is an important tool when working

Equations and with equations and inequalities involving absolute value. For example, the algebraic

Inequalities statement

x 1 2

2

Interpret geometrically, solve, and graph. Write solutions in both inequality and

interval notation, where appropriate.

(A) x 3 5 (B) x 3 5

(C) 0 x 3 5 (D) x 3

5

x 3 5, x is a number whose distance from 3 is 5. That is,

x 3 5 2 or 8

5 5

x

2 3 8

40 1 Equations and Inequalities

than 5; that is,

2 x 8

( ) x

2 3 8

advanced mathematics. Geometrically, x is a number whose distance from 3 is

less than 5, but x cannot equal 3. Thus,

Hole

( ) x

2 3 8

(D) Geometrically, in x 3

5, x is a number whose distance from 3 is greater

than 5; that is,

x 2 or x

8 or (, 2) (8, )

) (

2 3 8

2 x and x 8

2 x 8 or (2, 8)

x 2 or x

8

1-4 Absolute Value in Equations and Inequalities 41

Equations and Inequalities

Form (d

0) Geometric interpretation Solution Graph

d d

equal to d. cd c cd

less than d. cd c cd

less than d, but x c. cd c cd

x c

d Distance between x and c is (, c d) (c d, ) ) ( x

greater than d. cd c cd

Matched Problem 3 Interpret geometrically, solve, and graph. Write solutions in both inequality and inter-

val notation, where appropriate.

(A) x 2 6 (B) x 2 6

(C) 0 x 2 6 (D) x 2

6

[Hint: x 2 x (2).]

EXPLORE-DISCUSS 2

Describe the set of numbers that satisfies each of the following:

(A) 2

x

1 (B) 2

x 1

(C) 2 x

1 (D) 2 x 1

Explain why it is never necessary to use double inequalities with inequality sym-

bols pointing in different directions. Standard mathematical notation requires that

all inequality symbols in an expression must point in the same direction.

42 1 Equations and Inequalities

For p

0:

p 0 p

2. x p is equivalent to p x p. ( ) x

p 0 p

3. x

p is equivalent to x p or x

p. ) ( x

p 0 p

orem 3.

For p

0:

2. ax b p is equivalent to p ax b p.

3. ax b

p is equivalent to ax b p or ax b

p.

Solve, and write solutions in both inequality and interval notation, where appropriate.

3x 5 4 5 x 5

3x 5 4 or (5, 5)

5 4

x

3

x 3, 13

or {3, 13}

1-4 Absolute Value in Equations and Inequalities 43

3 2x 1 3 2 7 3x 2

2 2x 4 9 3x 5

1 x 2 3 x 53

or (1, 2) 5

3 x3

or [53, 3]

Matched Problem 4 Solve, and write solutions in both inequality and interval notation, where appropriate.

(A) x

3 (B) 2x 1 3 (C) 7 3x

2

3

x 3 or x

3 Inequality notation

(, 3) (3, ) Interval notation

(B) 2x 1 3

2x 1 3 or 2x 1 3

2x 2 or 2x 4

x 1 or x2 Inequality notation

(, 1] [2, ) Interval notation

(C) 7 3x

2

7 3x 2 or 7 3x

2

3x 9 or 3x

5

x

3 or x 53 Inequality notation

(, 53) (3, ) Interval notation

Matched Problem 5 Solve, and write solutions in both inequality and interval notation.

5 (C) 6 5x

16

Solve: x 4 3x 8

44 1 Equations and Inequalities

Solution Theorem 3 does not apply directly, since 3x 8 is not known to be positive. How-

ever, we can use the definition of absolute value and two cases: x 4 0 and x

4 0.

Case 1. x 4 0 (that is, x 4)

For this case, the possible values of x are in the set {x x 4}.

x 4 3x 8

x 4 3x 8 a a for a 0

2x 12

x6 A solution, since 6 is among the possible values of x

Case 2. x 4 0 (that is, x 4)

In this case, the possible values of x are in the set {x x 4}.

x 4 3x 8

(x 4) 3x 8 a a for a 0

x 4 3x 8

4x 4

x1 Not a solution, since 1 is not among the possible values of x

x 4 3x 8 x 4 3x 8

6 4 3(6) 8 1 4 3(1) 8

10 10 5 5

and Radicals

x2 x

1-4 Absolute Value in Equations and Inequalities 45

if x 0

x

x

x2

if x 0

But this is exactly how we defined x at the beginning of this section (see Definition

1). Thus, for x any real number,

x2 x

(B) 9 2 (C) 2 (D) 9 2

3 3

1. (A) 8

2. (A) 4 (B) 4 (C) 6 (D) 11 (E) 8 (F) 15

3. (A) x is a number whose distance from 2 is 6.

x 8, 4 or {8, 4} x

8 2 4

(B) x is a number whose distance from 2 is less than 6.

8 x 4 or (8, 4) ( ) x

8 2 4

(C) x is a number whose distance from 2 is less than 6, but x cannot equal 2.

8 x 4, x 2, or (8, 2) (2, 4) ( ) x

8 2 4

(D) x is a number whose distance from 2 is greater than 6.

x 8 or x

4, or (, 8) (4, ) ) ( x

8 2 4

4. (A) x 72 , 92 or { 72 , 92 } (B) 7 x 7 or [7, 7] (C) 4 x 2 or [4, 2]

(D) 2 x 7 or (2, 7)

5. (A) x 5 or x 5, or (, 5] [5, ) (B) x 12 or x

2, or (, 12 ) (2, )

(C) x 2 or x

22 5 , or (, 2) (22

5 , )

6. x 14 , 92 or { 14 , 92 }

EXERCISE 1-4

A 13. d(B, O) 14. d(A, B) 15. d(O, B)

In Problems 18, simplify, and write without absolute value 16. d(B, A) 17. d(B, C) 18. d(D, C)

signs. Do not replace radicals with decimal approximations.

Write each of the statements in Problems 1928 as an

1. 5 2. 34

absolute value equation or inequality.

3. (6) (2) 4. (2) (6)

19. x is 4 units from 3.

5. 5 5 6. 7 2

20. y is 3 units from 1.

7. 5 5 8. 2 7

21. m is 5 units from 2.

In Problems 912, find the distance between points A and B 22. n is 7 units from 5.

with coordinates a and b respectively, as given.

23. x is less than 5 units from 3.

9. a 7, b 5 10. a 3, b 12

24. z is less than 8 units from 2.

11. a 5, b 7 12. a 9, b 17

25. p is more than 6 units from 2.

In Problems 1318, use the number line below to find the

indicated distances. 26. c is no greater than 7 units from 3.

x

10 5 0 5 10 28. d is no more than 4 units from 5.

46 1 Equations and Inequalities

80. Prove that x2 x2 for all real numbers x.

In Problems 2944, solve, interpret geometrically, and

graph. When applicable, write answers using both inequality 81. Prove that the average of two numbers is between the two

notation and interval notation. numbers; that is, if m n, then

29. x 7 30. t 5 31. x 7

mn

m n

32. x 5 33. y 5 3 34. t 3 4 2

35. y 5 3 36. t 3 4 37. y 5

3

82. Prove that for m n,

38. t 3

4 39. u 8 3 40. x 1 5

41. u 8 3 42. x 1 5 43. u 8 3

d m,

mn

2

d

mn

2

,n

44. x 1 5

83. Prove that m m.

In Problems 4562, solve each equation or inequality. When

applicable, write answers using both inequality notation and 84. Prove that m n if and only if m n or m n.

interval notation. 85. Prove that for n 0,

45. 3x 7 4 46. 5y 2 8

m m

47. 4 2t

6 48. 10 4s 6

n n

49. 7m 11 3 50. 4 5n 8

86. Prove that mn mn.

51. 21w 4

3

2 52. 31z 56 1

87. Prove that m m m.

53. 0.2u 1.7 0.5 54. 0.5v 2.5

1.6

88. Prove the triangle inequality:

55. 59C 32 31 56. 59(F 32) 40

57. x2 2 58. m2

3 m n m n

59. (1 3t)2 2 60. (3 2x)2 5 Hint: Use Problem 87 to show that

61. (2t 3)

3 2

62. (3m 5) 4 2

C and b is given by

Problems 6366 are calculus-related. Solve and graph.

Write each solution using interval notation. max(a, b) 21[a b a b]

63. 0 x 3 0.1 64. 0 x 5 0.01 90. Prove that the minimum of a and b is given by

65. 0 x c d 66. 0 x 4 d

min(a, b) 12[a b a b]

In Problems 6776, for what values of x does each hold?

67. x 2 x 2 68. x 4 (x 4)

APPLICATIONS

69. 2x 3 3 2x 70. 3x 9 3x 9

71. 3x 5 2x 6 72. 7 2x 5 x 91. Statistics. Inequalities of the form

73. x x 3 3

75. 2x 7 6 3x 8

74. x x 5 5

76. 3x 1 3 2x 11

x

xm

s

<n

77. What are the possible values of ? occur frequently in statistics. If m 45.4, s 3.2, and

x n 1, solve for x.

x 1 92. Statistics. Repeat Problem 91 for m 28.6, s 6.5, and

78. What are the possible values of ?

x1 n 2.

1-5 Complex Numbers 47

93. Business. The daily production P in an automobile assem- equal to 6.94. The error in this approximation is less than

bly plant is within 20 units of 500 units. Express the daily 0.02. Describe the possible values of this volume both with

production as an absolute value inequality. an absolute value inequality and with interval notation.

94. Chemistry. In a chemical process, the temperature T is to

be kept within 10C of 200C. Express this restriction as an 97. Significant Digits. If N 2.37 represents a measurement,

absolute value inequality. then we assume an accuracy of 2.37 0.005. Express the

accuracy assumption using an absolute value inequality.

95. Approximation. The area A of a region is approximately

equal to 12.436. The error in this approximation is less than

98. Significant Digits. If N 3.65 103 is a number from a

0.001. Describe the possible values of this area both with an

measurement, then we assume an accuracy of 3.65 103

absolute value inequality and with interval notation.

5 106. Express the accuracy assumption using an ab-

96. Approximation. The volume V of a solid is approximately solute value inequality.

Introductory Remarks

The Complex Number System

Complex Numbers and Radicals

Introductory The Pythagoreans (500275 B.C.) found that the simple equation

Remarks

x2 2 (1)

had no rational number solutions. If equation (1) were to have a solution, then a new

kind of number had to be inventedan irrational number. The irrational numbers 2

and 2 are both solutions to equation (1). Irrational numbers were not put on a

firm mathematical foundation until the nineteenth century. The rational and irrational

numbers together constitute the real number system.

Is there any need to consider another number system? Yes, if we want the sim-

ple equation

x2 1

any real number solutions. Once again a new type of number must be invented, a

number whose square can be negative. These new numbers are among the numbers

called complex numbers. The complex numbers evolved over a long period of time,

but, like the real numbers, it was not until the nineteenth century that they were placed

on a firm mathematical foundation.

The Complex We start the development of the complex number system by defining a complex num-

Number System ber and several special types of complex numbers. We then define equality, addition,

and multiplication in this system, and from these definitions the important special

properties and operational rules for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

will follow.

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