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Solving an Equation Graphically

Method

Solving an Equation Graphically

The function is comprised of all the points that satisfy its function rule. If the -coordinate is already given, the result is a one-variable equation such as where is the given -coordinate. It is then possible to use the graph of to solve the equation. For instance, the equation can be solved using this method.

1

If needed, rearrange the equation

If there are variables on both sides of the equation, the equation has to be rearranged so that the variables are on the same side.

2

Graph the function

The side with the variables can now be seen as a function, Graph that function in a coordinate plane. For the equation the function is


3

Identify any points with -coordinate

Now, find all the points on the graph that have the -coordinate For the example, the constant has the value and there are points on the graph with the -coordinate


4

Identify the -coordinates

The -coordinates of any identified points solve the original equation, Note that solving an equation graphically does not necessarily lead to an exact answer. To verify a solution, substitute it into and evaluate the expression. If the function value equals it's an exact solution. If it's almost equal to an approximate solution has been found. In the example, the -coordinates are and

Verifying the solution is done by evaluating

We find that the function value is which is the same as the value of for this equation. Thus, it is an exact solution. The solution can be verified the same way.