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Exam 2 Material

Rational Expressions

Rational Expression

• A ratio of two polynomials where the denominator is

not zero (an “ugly fraction” with a variable in a

denominator)

• Example:

x2 − x − 2

x+3

• Will the value of the denominator ever be zero?

If x = - 3, then the denominator becomes 0, so we say

that – 3 is a restricted value of x

• What is the “domain” of the rational expression (all

acceptable values of the variable)?

Domain is the set of all real numbers except - 3.

Domain: {x | x ≠ -3}

Finding Restricted Values and

Domains of Rational Expressions

• Make equations by setting each factor of

the denominator equal to zero

• Solve the equations to find restricted

values

• The domain will be all real numbers that

are not restricted

Example

x2 − 4

• Factor the denominator:

(x – 2)(x + 2)

• Set each factor equal to zero and solve the equations:

x – 2 = 0 and x + 2 = 0

x=2 and x = -2 (Restricted Values)

• Domain:

{x | x ≠ -2, x ≠ 2}

Evaluating Rational Expressions

• To “evaluate” a rational expression means

to find its “value” when variables are

replaced by specific “unrestricted”

numbers inside parentheses

2x − 3

• Example: Evaluate 2 for x = -2

x + 2x − 3

2(− 2) − 3 −4−3 −7 7

= = =

(− 2) + 2( − 2) − 3

2

4−4−3 −3 3

Fundamental Principle of

Fractions

• If the numerator and denominator of a

fraction contain a common factor, that

factor may be divided out to reduce the

fraction to lowest terms:

1 1 1

ab b 12 2⋅ 2⋅3 2

= = =

1 ac c 18 12 ⋅13 ⋅ 3 3

When common factors are divided out, "1" is left in each place.

1

5 1

=

15 x x

Reducing Rational Expressions

to Lowest Terms

• Completely factor both numerator and

denominator

• Apply the fundamental principle of

fractions: divide out common factors

that are found in both the numerator and

the denominator

Example of Reducing Rational

Expressions to Lowest Terms

• Reduce to lowest terms: 3 x 3 + 24

3x + 6

• Factor top and bottom:

(

3 x3 + 8 )

3( x + 2 )

1 1

(

3( x + 2 ) x 2 − 2 x + 4 )

3( x + 2 )

1 1

• Divide out common factors to get:

x2 − 2x + 4

Example of Reducing Rational

Expressions to Lowest Terms

• Reduce to lowest terms: x −3

3− x

• Factor top and bottom: x −3 1( x − 3)

=

− x+3 − 1( x − 3)

1( x − 3)

=

− 1( x − 3)

1

• Divide out common factors to get:

−1

Equivalent Forms

of Rational Expressions

• All of the following are equivalent:

−p p p

= =−

q −q q

• In words this would say that a negative

factor in the numerator or denominator can

be moved, respectively, to a negative

factor in the denominator or numerator, or

can be moved to the front of the fraction,

or vice versa

Example of Using Equivalent

Forms of Rational Expressions

• Write equivalent forms of:

x−5 − ( x − 5) − x+5

− = =

x+2 x+2 x+2

x−5 x −5 x −5

− = =

x+2 − ( x + 2) −x−2

Homework Problems

• Section: 6.1

• Page: 401

• Problems: Odd: 3 – 9, 13 – 23, 27 – 63,

67 – 73

practice

• MyMathLab Quiz 6.1 for grade

Multiplying Rational Expressions

(Same as Multiplying Fractions)

• Factor each numerator and denominator

• Divide out common factors

• Write answer (leave polynomials in factored

form)

• Example:

1 1 1

4 15 2 ⋅ 2 3⋅5 5

⋅ = ⋅ =

9 28 3⋅3 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 7 21

1 1 1

Example of Multiplying

Rational Expressions

3x 2 − 2 x − 8 3x + 2

⋅

3 x + 14 x + 8 3 x + 4

2

1 1

( 3x + 4)( x − 2) ⋅ ( 3x + 2)

( 3x1+ 2)( x + 4) ( 3x + 4)

1

Divide out common factors:

( x − 2)

( x + 4)

Dividing Rational Expressions

(Same as Dividing Fractions)

• Invert the divisor and change problem to

multiplication

a c a d ad

÷ = ⋅ =

b d b c bc

• Example:

2 3 2 4 8

÷ = ⋅ =

3 4 3 3 9

Example of Dividing

Rational Expressions

1 1 3

2y 8y + 4y

2 5 3

2y 2

27 2y 2

27

÷ = ⋅ 5 = ⋅ 3 2 =

9 27 9 8y + 4y 3

9 4 y 2 y +1 ( )

1 2 y

3

( )

2 y 2 y2 +1

Homework Problems

• Section: 6.2

• Page: 408

• Problems: Odd: 3 – 25, 29 – 61

practice

• MyMathLab Quiz 6.2 for grade

Finding the Least Common

Denominator, LCD, of Rational

Expressions

• Completely factor each denominator

• Construct the LCD by writing down each

factor the maximum number of times it is

found in any denominator

Example of Finding the LCD

• Given three denominators, find the LCD:

3 x − 12

2

, 6 x − 12 , 4 x 2

− 16 x + 16

• Factor each denominator:

3 x 2 −12 = 3( x 2 − 4 ) = 3( x − 2 )( x + 2 )

6x −12 = 6( x − 2 ) = 2 ⋅ 3( x − 2)

4 x 2 − 16 x + 16 = 4( x − 4 x + 4 ) = 2 ⋅ 2( x − 2 )( x − 2 )

2

number of times it’s found in any denominator:

LCD = 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 3( x − 2 )( x − 2 )( x + 2 )

LCD = 12( x − 2 ) 2 ( x + 2 )

Equivalent Fractions

• The fundamental principle of fractions,

mentioned earlier, says:

ab b

=

ac c

• In words, this says that when numerator and

denominator of a fraction are multiplied by the

same factor, the result is equivalent to the

original fraction

2 6⋅2 12

= = .

3 6⋅3 18

Writing Equivalent Fractions

With Specified Denominator

• Given a fraction and a desired denominator for

an equivalent fraction that is a multiple of the

original denominator, write an equivalent fraction

by multiplying both the numerator and

denominator of the original fraction by all factors

of the desired denominator not found in the

original denominator

• To accomplish this goal, it is usually best to

completely factor both the original denominator

and the desired denominator

Example

Write an equivalent fraction to the given

fraction that has a denominator of 24:

Factor each denominator :

5 ? 6 = 2⋅3

=

6 24 24 = 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 3

5 2⋅ 2⋅5 20

= =

6 2⋅2⋅6 24

Example

Write an equivalent rational expression to

the given one that has a denominator of

2 y3 − 4 y2 + 2 y : Factor each denominator :

y+2 ? y 2 − y = y ( y − 1)

= 3

y − y 2 y − 4 y2 + 2 y

2 2 y 3 − 4 y 2 + 2 y = 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)

y+2

=

y+2

=

( y + 2 ) 2( y − 1)

=

(

2 y2 + y − 2

=

)

y − y y ( y − 1)

2

y ( y − 1) 2( y − 1) y ( y − 1) 2( y − 1)

2 y2 + 2 y − 4

2 y3 − 4 y2 + 2 y

Homework Problems

• Section: 6.3

• Page: 414

• Problems: Odd: 5 – 43, 51 – 69

practice

• MyMathLab Quiz 6.3 for grade

Adding and Subtracting Rational

Expressions (Same as Fractions)

• Find a least common denominator, LCD,

for the rational expressions

• Write each fraction as an equivalent

fraction having the LCD

• Write the answer by adding or

subtracting numerators as indicated,

and keeping the LCD

• If possible, reduce the answer to lowest

terms

Example

y+2 3y 1 y+2 3y 1

− 2 + = − +

y − y 2y − 4y + 2 y y ( y − 1) 2( y − 1)( y − 1) y

2

y ( y − 1)

• Find a least common denominator, LCD, for the rational expressions:

LCD =

2( y − 1)( y − 1)

2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)

y

•

2( y + 2 )( y − 1) 2 ⋅1( y − 1)( y − 1)

Write each fraction as an equivalent fraction having the LCD:

3y ⋅ y

− +

2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1) 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1) 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)

• Write the answer by adding or subtracting numerators as indicated, and keeping the

=

(

LCD:2

)2 2

(

2 y + y − 2 − 3y + 2 y − 2 y +1

=

2

)

2 y + 2 y − 4 − 3y + 2 y − 4 y + 2

2 2

=

2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1) 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)

• If possible, reduce the answer to lowest terms

y2 − 2 y − 2

Since top won' t factor, fraction won' t reduce!

2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)

Homework Problems

• Section: 6.4

• Page: 422

• Problems: Odd: 9 – 21, 25 – 47,

51 – 71

practice

• MyMathLab Quiz 6.4 for grade

Complex Fraction

• A “fraction” that contains a rational expression

in its numerator, or in its denominator, or both

• Example: 1

+2

3x

5

6y

• Every complex fraction can be simplified to a

rational expression (ratio of two polynomials)

Two Methods for Simplifying

Complex Fractions

• Method One

– Do math on top to get a single fraction

– Do math on bottom to get a single fraction

– Divide top fraction by bottom fraction

• Method Two (Usually preferred)

– Find the LCD of all of the “little fractions”

– Multiply the complex fraction by “1” where “1”

is the LCD of the little fractions over itself

Method One Example of

Simplifying a Complex Fraction

1

+2

3x

5

6y

• Do math on top to get single fraction:

1 1 2 1 6x 1+ 6 x

+2= + = + =

3x 3x 1 3x 3x 3x

• Do math on bottom to get single fraction:

5

In this case, bottom is already single fraction :

6y

• Top fraction divided by bottom:

2

1+ 6x 5 1+ 6x 6 y 2 y + 12 xy

÷ = ⋅ =

3x 6y 3x 5 5x

Method Two Example of

Simplifying a Complex Fraction

1

+2

3x

5

6y

• Find the LCD of all of the “little fractions”:

6 xy

• Multiply the complex fraction by “1” where “1” is the LCD

of the little fractions over itself

1 6 xy 6 xy 12 xy

+ 2 +

=

3x 1 3x 1 = 2 y + 12 xy

⋅ =

5 6 xy 30 xy 5x

6y 1 6y

Homework Problems

• Section: 6.5

• Page: 431

• Problems: Odd: 7 – 35

practice

• MyMathLab Quiz 6.5 for grade

Other Types of Equations

• Thus far techniques have been discussed

for solving all linear and some quadratic

equations

• Now address techniques for identifying

and solving “rational equations”

Rational Equations

• Technical Definition: An equation that

contains a rational expression

• Practical Definition: An equation that has

a variable in a denominator

• Example:

1 5 2

= −

x + 2x − 3 x −1 x + 3

2

Solving Rational Equations

• Find “restricted values” for the equation by

setting every denominator that contains a

variable equal to zero and solving

• Find the LCD of all the fractions and multiply

both sides of equation by the LCD to eliminate

fractions

• Solve the resulting equation to find apparent

solutions

• Solutions are all apparent solutions that are

not restricted

Example

RV

1 5 2 x + 2x − 3 = 0

2

= − ( x − 1)( x + 3) = 0

x + 2x − 3 x −1 x + 3

2

x − 1 = 0 OR x + 3 = 0

1 5 2 x =1 x = −3

= −

( x − 1)( x + 3) x − 1 x + 3 x − 1 = 0 Already Solved

x + 3 = 0 Already Solved

1 5 2 LCD LCD

( x − 1)( x + 3) = x − 1 − x + 3 1 ( x − 1)( x + 3)

1 = 5( x + 3) − 2( x − 1) − 16 = 3 x

1 = 5 x + 15 − 2 x + 2 16

x=− Not RV!

1 = 3 x + 17 3

Example

RV

2 1 1 m −1 = 0

2

− = ( m − 1)( m + 1) = 0

m −1 2 m −1

2

m − 1 = 0 OR m + 1 = 0

2 1 1 m =1 m = −1

− =

( m − 1)( m + 1) 2 m − 1 m − 1 = 0 Already Solved

2 1 1 LCD LCD

− =

( m − 1)( m + 1) 2 m − 1 1 2( m − 1)( m + 1)

4 − ( m − 1)( m + 1) = 2( m + 1) 0 = ( m − 3)( m + 1)

4 − ( m 2 − 1) = 2m + 2 m − 3 = 0 or m + 1 = 0

4 − m + 1 = 2m + 2

2

m = 3 or m = −1

0 = m + 2m − 3

2

Formula

• Any equation containing more than one

variable

• To solve a formula for a specific variable

we must use appropriate techniques to

isolate that variable on one side of the

equal sign

• The technique we use in solving depends

on the type of equation for the variable for

which we are solving

Example of Different Types of

Equations for the Same Formula

2

• Consider the formula: A + 3 = 4 B

C −1

• What type of equation for A?

Linear (variable to first power)

• What type of equation for B?

Quadratic (variable to second power)

• What type of equation for C?

Rational (variable in denominator)

Solving Formulas Involving

Rational Equations

• Use the steps previously discussed for solving

rational equations:

• Find “restricted values” for the equation by setting

every denominator that contains the variable

being solved for equal to zero and solving

• Find the LCD of all the fractions and multiply both

sides of equation by the LCD to eliminate fractions

• Solve the resulting equation to find apparent

solutions

• Solutions are all apparent solutions that are not

restricted

Solve the Formula for C:

4B 2

A+3 =

C −1

Since the formula is rational for C, find RV:

C −1 = 0 C =1

Multiply both sides by LCD: ( C − 1)

2

4B

( C −1)( A + 3) = ( C −1)

( C −1)

AC + 3C − A − 3 = 4 B 2

Example Continued

Solve resulting equation and check

apparent answer with RV:

AC + 3C − A − 3 = 4 B 2

( Now linear for C )

AC + 3C = 4 B 2 + A + 3

( A + 3) C = 4 B + A + 3

2

( A + 3) C = 4 B 2 + A + 3

( A + 3) ( A + 3)

4B 2 + A + 3

C= Not RV

A+3

Homework Problems

• Section: 6.6

• Page: 439

• Problems: Odd: 17 – 69, 73 – 87

practice

• ( No MyMathLab Quiz until we finish

Section 6.7 )

Applications of Rational

Expressions

• Word problems that translate to rational

expressions are handled the same as all

other word problems

• On the next slide we give an example of

such a problem

Example

When three more than a number is divided by

twice the number, the result is the same as the

original number. Find all numbers that satisfy

these conditions. RV :

Unknowns : 0 = 2x2 − x − 3 2x = 0

The number x 0 = ( 2 x − 3)( x + 1) x=0

x+3 2 x − 3 = 0 or x + 1 = 0

=x

2x

x +3 2 x = 3 or x = −1

2 x = 2 x( x )

2x 3

x = or x = −1 .

2

x + 3 = 2x2

Homework Problems

• Section: 6.7

• Page: 449

• Problems: Odd: 3 –9

practice

• MyMathLab Quiz 6.6 - 6.7 for grade

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