Questions on quadratic functions and equations, second degree polynomials usually in the forms $y=ax^2+bx+c$, $y=a(x-b)^2+c$ or $y=a(x+b)(x+c)$.

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132
votes
18answers
13k views

Why can ALL quadratic equations be solved by the quadratic formula?

In algebra, all quadratic problems can be solved by using the quadratic formula. I read a couple of books, and they told me only HOW and WHEN to use this formula, but they don't tell me WHY I can use ...
35
votes
4answers
2k views

Why can we prove mathematically that a formula to solve an (n+5) order polynomial does not exist?

I understand that the quadratic equation can solve any second order polynomial. Furthermore, equations exist for polynomials up to fourth order. However, without a graduate level degree and a deep ...
25
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it possible for a quadratic equation to have one rational root and one irrational root?

Is it possible for a quadratic equation to have one rational root and one irrational root? Yes, a pretty straightforward question. Is it possible?
21
votes
1answer
206 views

Solve $x^4+3x^3+6x+4=0$… easier way?

So I was playing around with solving polynomials last night and realized that I had no idea how to solve a polynomial with no rational roots, such as $$x^4+3x^3+6x+4=0$$ Using the rational roots test, ...
20
votes
10answers
3k views

Why are equations written by equating something to zero?

A linear equation is $$ ax + b = 0 ; \,\, \,\, a\neq 0 $$ A quadratic equation is $$ax^2 + bx + c = 0 ; \,\, a\neq 0 $$ And so on... Why are all these equations written as $\dots = 0 $? Why do ...
19
votes
5answers
304 views

Probability of $ax^2 + bx + c = 0$ having real solutions

$a$, $b$, $c$ are random integer numbers between $1$ and $100$ (including $1$ and $100$, and uniformly distributed). What is the probability that the equation $ax^2 + bx + c = 0$ has real ...
17
votes
3answers
415 views

What would be the value of $\sum\limits_{n=0}^\infty \frac{1}{an^2+bn+c}$

I would like to evaluate the sum $$\sum_{n=0}^\infty \frac{1}{an^2+bn+c}$$ Here is my attempt: Letting $$f(z)=\frac{1}{az^2+bz+c}$$ The poles of $f(z)$ are located at $$z_0 = ...
17
votes
2answers
313 views

An interesting table of Prime Generating polynomials similar to $n^2+n+41$?

Here is some data on quadratic prime generating polynomials of a particular form. Kindly look at the questions given below it. $$\begin{array}{cccc} \text{#} & P(n)=an^2+bn+c\,; & d = ...
14
votes
2answers
263 views

Let $f(x)=x^2+12x+30$. Solve $f(f(f(f(f(x)))))=0$

Here is my solve, is it correct? I figured out that we can restate $f(f(x))$ as $((x+r)(x+s)+r)((x+r)(x+s)+s)$ thus $f(f(f(f(f(x)))))=0$ is $(x+r)^2(x+s)^2(4s+3r)(4r+3s)$ from vieta's ...
13
votes
10answers
3k views

Taking Calculus in a few days and I still don't know how to factorize quadratics

Taking Calculus in a few days and I still don't know how to factorize quadratics with a coefficient in front of the 'x' term. I just don't understand any explanation. My teacher gave up and said just ...
11
votes
8answers
618 views

How to factor quadratic $ax^2+bx+c$?

How do I shorten this? How do I have to think? $$ x^2 + x - 2$$ The answer is $$(x+2)(x-1)$$ I don't know how to get to the answer systematically. Could someone explain? Does anyone have a link to ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

what would be the way to solve a system of equations like this one?

Solve: $xy=-30$ $x+y=13$ {15, -2} is a particular solution, but, how would I know if is the only solution, or what would be the way to solve this without "guessing" ?
10
votes
3answers
333 views

A new way of solving cubics?

I found this (from http://www.quora.com/Mathematics/What-are-some-interesting-lesser-known-uses-of-the-quadratic-formula): So my question is: Can this be generalized to solve any depressed cubic ...
10
votes
3answers
135 views

What is the connection between the discriminant of a quadratic and the distance formula?

The $x$-coordinate of the center of a parabola $ax^2 + bx + c$ is $$-\frac{b}{2a}$$ If we look at the quadratic formula $$\frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a}$$ we can see that it specifies two ...
9
votes
1answer
100 views

Replacing numbers by roots of quadratic

We have $10$ numbers in the interval $(0,1)$, not necessarily distinct. At any moment, we can choose two of them, $a$ and $b$. If the quadratic $x^2-ax+b$ has two (possibly identical) real roots, we ...
8
votes
5answers
234 views

Solving $2^{2x+1} - 2^{x+4} = 2^3 - 2^x$

$$2^{2x+1} - 2^{x+4} = 2^3 - 2^x$$ How can I solve an exponential equation that has many terms as the one above. Include more than one method if available.
7
votes
4answers
301 views

Why are there four solutions to $x^2-2x-8=0$ in $\mathbb{R}$? Or am I wrong?

It might be a very trivial question to ask but why do we get four different solutions for a quadratic equation using these two methods? $x^2-2x-8=0$ We see that factors are $(x-4)$ and $(x+2)$ so ...
7
votes
3answers
262 views

Compute an expression without calculating the roots

Let a and b be the roots of this equation: x^2 - x - 5 = 0 Find the value of (a^2 + 4b - 1)(b^2 + 4a - 1) Without ...
7
votes
4answers
213 views

Both solutions to a quadratic make sense — looking for applications

I'm looking for reasonably real, non-abstract applications modeled by quadratic equations where both solutions make sense. I'd like them to be accessible to high school algebra students. One I come ...
7
votes
3answers
610 views

Universal quadratic formula?

Is there any way to write the quadratic formula such that it works for $ac= 0$ without having to make it piecewise? The traditional solution of $x = (-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}) / 2a$ breaks when $a = ...
7
votes
6answers
396 views

Solve $5a^2 - 4ab - b^2 + 9 = 0$, $ - 21a^2 - 10ab + 40a - b^2 + 8b - 12 = 0$

Solve $\left\{\begin{matrix} 5a^2 - 4ab - b^2 + 9 = 0\\ - 21a^2 - 10ab + 40a - b^2 + 8b - 12 = 0. \end{matrix}\right.$ I know that we can use quadratic equation twice, but then we'll get some ...
7
votes
3answers
93 views

how to calculate roots of given equation below?

Without solving equation $2x^2 + 9x + 9 = 0$, show that one of the root of the equation is twice the other.
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Coincidence? : $d(ax^2+bx+c)/dx=\pm \sqrt{\Delta}$

As the title says, is it just a coincidence that $d(ax^2+bx+c)/dx=\pm \sqrt{\Delta}$? (where $\Delta=b^2-4ac$, i.e. discriminant of the quadratic). We can get this easily from rearranging the ...
7
votes
1answer
78 views

Prove that $n$ is divisible by $6$

Problem: Let $x^2+mx+n$ and $x^2+mx-n$ give integer roots where $(m,n)$ are integers. Show that $n$ is divisible by $6$ My attempt: Since the roots are integers then the discriminants of both the ...
6
votes
9answers
2k views

Prove $ax^2+bx+c=0$ has no rational roots if $a,b,c$ are odd

If $a,b,c$ are odd, how can we prove that $ax^2+bx+c=0$ has no rational roots? I was unable to proceed beyond this: Roots are $x=\frac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}$ and rational numbers are of the form ...
6
votes
2answers
331 views

quadratic equation what am I doing wrong?

solve $$ \sqrt{5x+19} = \sqrt{x+7} + 2\sqrt{x-5} $$ $$ \sqrt{5x+19} = \sqrt{x+7} + 2\sqrt{x-5} \Rightarrow $$ $$ 5x+19 = (x+7) + 4\sqrt{x-5}\sqrt{x+7} + (x+5) \Rightarrow $$ $$ 3x + 17 = ...
6
votes
3answers
129 views

How to solve the following? $ x^3+1=2{(2x-1)}^{1/3} $.

Find all the real solutions of $$x^3+1=2{(2x-1)}^{1/3} $$ I tried to cube both sides but got messed up with a nine degree equation! Please help. Thanks in advance!
6
votes
1answer
314 views

Why is the '+' solution to the quadratic formula always the one that satisfies my constraint

Let $A,B \in (0,1)$ be known constants, and $C \in (-\infty, \infty)$ be a known constant. Define \begin{equation} \xi(x) = \log \big( x \big) + \log \big( 1+x-A-B \big) - \log \big( A - x \big) ...
6
votes
4answers
736 views

For what values of m are the roots of $x^2 +2x+3 = m(2x+1)$ real and positive

I am only able to show that to be real, $m <-1$ or $m\geq2$ Don't know how to finish solution Answer is $2 \leq m < 3$ So far: After expanding and factorising, $x^2 + 2(1-m)x + (3-m) = 0 $ ...
6
votes
2answers
122 views

Why/when did these extraneous solutions appear while solving a quadratic equation?

I am trying to solve the quadratic equation $x^2 + x + 1 = 0$. $x^2 = -1 - x $ $\iff x = -\frac{1}{x} - 1$, assuming $x\neq 0$. Substituting that into the original equation gives $x^2 + (-\frac{1}{x} ...
5
votes
4answers
307 views

Derivation of the quadratic equation

So everyone knows that when $ax^2+bx+c=0$,$$x = \dfrac{-b\pm\sqrt{b^2-4ac}}{2a}.$$ But why does it equal this? I learned this in maths not 2 weeks ago and it makes no sense to me
5
votes
5answers
6k views

Why a quadratic equations always equals zero?

On evaluating quadratic equations, It always equals zero: $$ax^2+bx+c=0$$ Why zero? Is it possible to use other number for another purpose?
5
votes
4answers
191 views

Solving an exponential equation involving e: $e^x-e^{-x}=\frac{3}{2}$

In a previous exam, my professor had the question \begin{equation*} e^x-e^{-x}=\frac{3}{2}. \end{equation*} I attempted to take the natural log of both side to solve it, but evidently that was ...
5
votes
3answers
189 views

If $a+b=x$ and $ab=y$, what is the quickest way to solve for $a$ and $b$?

The mechanistic approach would be to simply substitute $b=y/a$ in the first equation to obtain a quadratic in $a$. But seeing the simplicity of the givens, I feel that there must be some better and ...
5
votes
2answers
471 views

How to solve this equation? Can I treat as a quadratic equation?

$$\ln(x+3)+\ln(x-4)=0$$ How to solve this equation? First removing the 'ln' from the equation and after making a quadratic equation and then solve the quadratic equation?
5
votes
4answers
133 views

How to solve an equation with $x^4$?

Today, I had this question on a Maths test about Algebra. This was the equation I had to solve: $$(1-x)(x-5)^3=x-1$$ I worked away the brackets and subtracted $x-1$ from both sides and was left with ...
5
votes
2answers
989 views

Solution af a system of 2 quadratic equations

I have a system of two quadratic equations with unknowns $x$ and $y$: $$a_{1 1} x y + a_{1 2} x^2 + a_{1 3} y^2 + a_{1 4} x + a_{1 5} y + a_{1 6} = 0,\\ a_{2 1} x y + a_{2 2} x^2 + a_{2 3} y^2 + a_{2 ...
5
votes
4answers
817 views

find the least a, for which two equations have a common root

Could you help me out please. I have two equations: $2x^2-3x+1=0 $ and $ 2x^2-(a+3)x+3a=0$ I need to find the least $a$ for which these two equations have a common root. At a first glance I thought ...
5
votes
4answers
170 views

Solve $x^{3}-3x=\sqrt{x+2}$

Solve for real $x$ $$x^{3}-3x=\sqrt{x+2}$$ By inspection, $x=2$ is a root of this equation. So, I squared both sides and divided the six degree polynomial obtained by $x-2$. Then I got a ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

Find the value of $x_1^6 +x_2^6$ of this quadratic equation without solving it

I got this question for homework and I've never seen anything similar to it. Solve for $x_1^6+x_2^6$ for the following quadratic equation where $x_1$ and $x_2$ are the two real roots and $x_1 > ...
5
votes
2answers
726 views

Find the value of a + b + c + d

Let $a$ and $b$ be the roots of the equation: $x^2 - 10cx - 11d = 0$ where $c$ and $d$ be the roots of $x^2 - 10ax - 11b = 0$. Find the value of $a+b+c+d$, assuming that they all are distinct. I ...
5
votes
3answers
241 views

What are a , b and c?

$$y = ax^2 + bx + c$$ which is tangent at the origin with the line $y=x$, It is also tangential with the line $y=2x + 3$. Determine the function! Draw a figure! My main question is this solvable? I ...
5
votes
3answers
54 views

Intuitive understanding of factoring quadratic equations [duplicate]

When factoring a second degree equation $ax^2 + bx + c$ you find the roots then take $a(x - \text{root})(x - \text{root})$. I am wondering why this works. Sorry if poorly phrased question.
5
votes
3answers
829 views

How to solve problems involving roots. $\sqrt{(x+3)-4\sqrt{x-1}} + \sqrt{(x+8)-6\sqrt{x-1}} =1$

How to solve problems involving roots. If we square them they may go to fourth degree.There must be some technique to solve this. $$\sqrt{(x+3)-4\sqrt{x-1}} + \sqrt{(x+8)-6\sqrt{x-1}} =1$$
5
votes
2answers
736 views

Find equation of quadratic when given tangents?

I know the equations of 4 lines which are tangents to a quadratic: $y=2x-10$ $y=x-4$ $y=-x-4$ $y=-2x-10$ If I know that all of these equations are tangents, how do I find the equation of the ...
5
votes
3answers
128 views

How do you solve $4x^2=-16x$? I get different answers depending on the method used.

I'm solving the following GRE problem: Solve $4x^2=-16x$ Method 1: I simply divide both sides by $4x$ :$$x=-4$$ Method 2: I solve by factoring:$$4x^2+16x=0$$ $$4x(x+4)=0$$ $$x=-4, x=0$$ Using ...
5
votes
2answers
195 views

Let $f(x)=ax^2+bx+c$ where $a,b,c$ are real numbers. Suppose $f(-1),f(0),f(1) \in [-1,1]$. Prove that $|f(x)|\le \frac{3}{2}$ for all $x \in [-1,1]$.

Let $f(x)=ax^2+bx+c$ where $a,b,c$ are real numbers. Suppose $f(-1),f(0),f(1) \in [-1,1]$. Prove that $|f(x)|\le \frac{3}{2}$ for all $x \in [-1,1]$. I made quite a few attempts but could not ...
5
votes
1answer
369 views

Finding integral roots of $x^2 + px + q = 0$ if $p+q=198$.

Given the relation that $p+q=198$, the question is to find all the integral roots of the equation: $$ x^2+px + q = 0 $$ How to proceed? I know we'll have to use Vieta's formulas, but I don't know ...
5
votes
2answers
87 views

System of Pythagorean Quadratics

I have a system of quadratics, obtained from three mechanical links, fixed at one end and free at the other. The intersection point of the three free ends is required. ...
5
votes
2answers
624 views

Factoring Quadratics: Asterisk Method

I'm teaching my students about factoring quadratics. We've done GCF, difference of two squares, squared binomials, and grouping. One of my colleagues then found this asterisk method on line. It's ...