Chapter 3

In This Chapter

Solving rational equations by joining forces

Finding ways to deal with fractions equally using proportions

Making radicals more manageable

Going at it with negative exponents

Dealing with fractional powers

Rational numbers are those you can write as a fraction with an integer in both the numerator and denominator (but no 0 in the denominator). Rational numbers have the added attraction of having decimal equivalents that either terminate or repeat in a regular pattern. (This is what we call behaving rationally.)

Then you come to those pesky radicals. A *radical* indicates a root. The square root, cube root, fourth root, and so on are numbers whose repeated products give you the number under the radical sign. Numbers that are stuck under a radical sign — and have no exact value — don’t behave very well. The decimal equivalents of numbers under a radical that aren’t perfect squares or cubes, and so on, never ...

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