You are on page 1of 15

Rewriting and Solving Equations

Equation: two expressions separated by an equals sign such that what is on the left of the equals sign has the same value as what is on the right Transposition: rearranging an equation so that it can be solved, always keeping what is on the left of the equals sign equal to what is on the right

When Rewriting Equations

Add to or subtract from both sides Multiply or divide through the whole of each side (but dont divide by 0) Square or take the square root of each side Use as many stages as you wish Take care to get all the signs correct

Solution in Terms of Other Variables

Not all equations have numerical solutions Sometimes when you solve an equation for x you obtain an expression containing other variables Use the same rules to transpose the equation In the solution x will not occur on the right-hand side and will be on its own on the left-hand side Inverse function: expresses x as a function of y instead of y as a function of x

Substitution: to write one expression in place of another Always substitute the whole of the new expression and combine it with the other terms in exactly the same way that the expression it replaces was combined with them It is often helpful to put the expression you are substituting in brackets to ensure this

Linear Equations
Slope of a line: distance up divided by distance moved to the right between any two points on the line Coefficient: a value that is multiplied by a variable Intercept: the value at which a function cuts the y axis

Representing a Line as y = mx + b
The constant term, b, gives the y intercept The slope of the line is m, the coefficient of x Slope = y/x = (distance up)/(distance to right) Lines with positive slope go up from left to right Lines with negative slope go down from left to right Parameter: a value that is constant for a specific function but that changes to give other functions of the same type; m and b are parameters

A horizontal line has zero slope

30 y 20 10 0 0

as x increases, y does not change slope = 0

y = 18

x 10

Positive slope, zero intercept

500 y 250

y = 9x as x increases, y increases slope = 9 line passes through the origin

0 0



Negative slope, positive intercept

y 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0

larger x values go with smaller y values slope = - 4 y = 50 - 4x

5 10 x 15

Positive slope, negative intercept

y 40 30 20 10 0 -10 -20 -30

as x increases, y increases

y = -25 + 3x slope = 3
x 20


line cuts y axis below the origin

A vertical line has infinite slope

40 y 30 20 10 0 0 5 10 15 x 20 slope = y increases but x does not change x = 15


Constant Substitution Along a Line

The rate at which y is substituted by x is constant along a downward sloping line, but not along a curve


Simultaneous Equations
Simultaneous equations can usually (but not always) be solved if
number of equations = number of unknowns


Solving Simultaneous Equations

Solution methods for two simultaneous equations include
Finding where functions cross on a graph Eliminating a variable by substitution Eliminating a variable by subtracting (or adding) equations

Once you know the value of one variable, substitute it in the other equation

Simultaneous Equilibrium in Related Markets

Demand in each market depends both on the price of the good itself and on the price of the related good To solve the model use the equilibrium condition for each market demand = supply This gives two equations (one from each market) in two unknowns which we then solve