Algebra Tutorials!  
Thursday 22nd of August
Square Roots and Radical Expressions
Solving Radical Equations
Simplifying Radical Expressions
Irrational Numbers in General and Square Roots in Particular
Roots of Polynomials
Simplifying Radical Expressions
Exponents and Radicals
Products and Quotients Involving Radicals
Roots of Quadratic Equations
Radical Expressions
Radicals and Rational Exponents
Find Square Roots and Compare Real Numbers
Radicals and Rational Exponents
Theorems on the Roots of Polynomial Equations
Simplifying Radical Expressions
Exponents and Radicals
Properties of Exponents and Square Roots
Solving Radical Equations
Rational Exponents and Radicals,Rationalizing Denominators
Rational Exponents and Radicals,Rationalizing Denominators
Quadratic Roots
Exponents and Roots
Multiplying Radical Expressions
Exponents and Radicals
Solving Radical Equations
Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring and Extracting Roots
Newton's Method for Finding Roots
Roots of Quadratic Equations Studio
Roots, Radicals, and Root Functions
Review division factoring and Root Finding
Simplifying Radical Expressions
Multiplying and Simplifying Radical Expressions
Multiplication and Division of Radicals
Radical Equations
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Rationalizing the Denominator

(1) The process of eliminating radicals from denominators is called rationalizing the denominator. There are many techniques for doing this depending on the nature of the denominator. We’ll study only two of them. The first of these methods applies when the denominator is just a radical, and it uses the insight gained by having worked with the (S) rule above.


Since this is a square root, we need objects in the radicand that are raised to a
power that is a multiple of 2. We have is the closest. We can get 512
that by multiplying numerator and denominator by I like to think of this as
“multiply by 1 in disguise with radicals”—the old Beatles song!

First use (M2).

4 is a multiple of 2, so is not a worry. The next multiple of 2

past 5 is 6, so we multiply by 1 in disguise with radicals: While
we’re at it, we’ll simplify the numerator.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This is getting boring. The current powers are 1, 2, and 7. So
weneed 2, 2, and 8 which we can get by using

Oh, the same radicand, but a new index. Now we want powers
that are multiples of 3. In this case we want 3, 3, and 9. Thus we use

Now the index is 4, so we need the powers 4, 4, and 8.

As we see from these last three examples, what we multiply the numerator and denominator by depends both on the radicand and the index.

(2) Before we can introduce the second technique, we need to do some radical arithmetic. The pairs of objects like and are called conjugate pairs. If we apply the special product to these, we get:

Notice that the radicals vanish in this process. This observation is used to handle fractions whose denominators are one of these types of objects. Some examples follow. NOTE: The above ONLY applies for conjugates involving SQUARE ROOTS – it is not true for cube roots, etc.

Use and multiply by 1 in disguise with radicals.

Radical Equations

(1) A radical equation is any equation containing a radical with the variable we want to solve for as part of a radicand. At this level, we will only be interested in square roots – although once you understand the method for square roots, you should be able to extend its basic idea to other indices, but I won’t ask you to do that here.

(2) Solving radical equations (square root ones) is fairly straight forward and the process sounds like the bar tender on the old Love Boat: ISSC.

Isolate a radical
Square both sides of the equation
Solve the resulting equation
Check your solutions

Example 1:

Isolate a radical.
Square both sides.
Note: Square both SIDES, not square all terms!!!!
Solve the resulting equation.
  Quadratic -> Make equation to 0
Zero Product Rule.

But we’re not done just yet! The C in ISSC says Check your solutions. Check them, that is, IN THE ORIGINAL EQUATION Watch very carefully what happens in the following checking process. We substitute each “answer” into the ORIGINAL EQUATION and ask if we do indeed have equality.

So does NOT check, and hence it must be tossed out. The only solution is
What happened here is that are, indeed, solutions to the “squared” equation, but only is a solution to the original equation. The quantity is called an extraneous root: a solution to the square of an equation which is NOT a solution to the original equation. This can often happen and hence, along with fractional equations, the technique for solving radical equations requires checking. Unlike the simple checking for zero denominators that was required for fractional equations, the checking here must be complete – substitute into the ORIGINAL EQUATION and verify whether or not the two sides reduce to the same value. In general, anything could happen in this checking process: you might have to throw one or more solutions away (as above), throw them all away (solution set is then ), or you may get to keep them all.

Example 2:

Isolate a radical, say the first one.
Square both sides.
Solve the resulting equation. But this is a
radical equation -> ISSC. So Isolate a radical.
Divide through by to simplify.
Square both sides.
Note the up front.
Solve the resulting equation.
Quadratic -> make equation to 0.
Zero Product Rule

Thus the solution is .

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