# Trivial question on an algebraic equation

I am too rusty in algebra.
I have as input in a program numbers a and b.
I am trying to find them using the bellow relation:

a + b = X;
a * b = Y;

and X and Y are known numbers in my program.
I can't remember how to derive a or b.
I get something like a^2 - aX + Y = 0 but cant't remember how to make it so that it is something like a = ....; an b=....; in my program.

$$a = \dfrac{X +\sqrt{X^2 - 4Y}}{2}; b = \dfrac{X -\sqrt{X^2 - 4Y}}{2}$$
This comes from the quadratic formula. You correctly recalled $$a^2 - Xa + Y = 0$$ and then I used the quadratic formula (and the fact that $a + b = X$) –  The Chaz 2.0 Apr 23 '12 at 14:51