I'm on one of the more difficult practice problems on Excercise 1-6 in "AoPS:Vol. 1".

Problem £4 : Ex. 1-6. The hint details that we should multiply $$\left(\frac{1}{\sqrt 1 \sqrt 2}\right) $$ by it's conjugate which the hint identifies as itself.

I have tried rationalizing the above fraction by multiplying it's conjugate by itself, however, how can we FOIL the two terms when there appears to only be one?

Overall Questions: 1. How the Conjugate Radical be the same as the original expression? If so, why? 2. How can we rationalize a fraction like this which appears to have only one term, when rationalization by conjugate radicals always requires two?



$1/\sqrt{1+\sqrt{2}} = \sqrt{1+\sqrt{2}}/(1+\sqrt{2})$.

Now multiply top and bottom by $1-\sqrt(2)$.




  • $\begingroup$ Hmmm,... I seem to be having issues from the very first step! How do we go from the first step to the second one? How does the denominator become (1+sqrt(2)) in the second step? Did we multiply by a conjugate, or...? $\endgroup$ – DarkRunner Jul 22 '16 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ @RefathBari: No, XSPX multiplied both the numerator and denominator by $\sqrt{1+\sqrt{2}}$ to obtain $\frac {\sqrt{1+\sqrt{2}}}{1+\sqrt{2}}$ $\endgroup$ – Frank Aug 2 '16 at 21:00

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