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 Depdendent Variable

 Number of equations to solve: 23456789
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 Dependent Variable

 Number of inequalities to solve: 23456789
 Ineq. #1:
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 Solve for:

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An equation that can be simplified to the form is called a quadratic equation. If the equation is already simplified to this form we say it is in standard form. We have already investigated two techniques for solving quadratic equations: extraction of roots (which works if there is no linear term) and factoring. Neither technique is practical in all cases. We will now investigate a technique that is practical more generally.

The quadratic formula lets us find the solutions of a quadratic equation when it is written in standard
form. The plus or minus symbol (±) allows us to represent both solutions in a single expression. Lets take a look at an example to see how it works.

Example: Use the quadratic formula to find the solutions to the equation

Solution: First we identify the coefficients a, b and c for this equation: a = 3, b = 4 and c = −5. Then we substitute these values for a, b and c in the formula:

Let’s represent each solution separately and use our calculators to approximate the solutions.

We can enter each of these solutions into our graphing calculators with a single entry but we must pay careful attention to the order of operations. Let’s start with the first solution. Enter it into your calculator as follows:

When you push enter the calculator should return the value
.7862996478

This is an approximation of the first solution. Now we turn our attention to the second solution. Press 2nd Enter to bring up the previous entry:

The entry for the second solution is identical except that the addition that I’ve highlighted above should be changed to a subtraction:

When you push enter the calculator should return the value

−2.119632981

So the solutions to the equation are approximately x = .7862996478 and x = −2.119632981