Chapter 4

Rooting Out the Rational, Radical, and Negative

IN THIS CHAPTER

Bullet Working through rational equations

Bullet Dealing with radicals in equations

Bullet Flipping and factoring negative exponents

Bullet Combining and factoring fractional exponents

Solving an algebraic equation requires some know-how. You need the basic mathematical tools, and you need to know what is and isn’t allowed. You don’t want to take a perfectly good equation and change it into drivel. You need a game plan to solve equations with fractions, radicals, and negative or fractional exponents — one that involves careful planning and a final check of your answers. In this chapter, you find out how to tackle equations by changing them into new equations that are more familiar and easier to solve. You also see a recurring theme of check your answers, because changing equations into different forms can introduce mysterious strangers into the mix — in the form of false answers.

Acting Rationally with Fraction-Filled Equations

A rational term in an equation is a fraction, and an equation with one or more terms, some of which are rational, ...

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