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Equations with variable terms inside a radical are called radical equations. Like all equations, these can be solved graphically and algebraically. Sometimes, when solving algebraically, *extraneous solutions* — or solutions that do not satisfy the equation — arise.

A radical function is a function that contains a radical expression, such as $y=32+x +5.$ If the dependent variable of the function is exchanged for a constant, say $C,$ the result is radical equation, $C=32+x +5,$

which can be solved graphically. This is done by first graphing the function $y=32+x +5,$ then finding the $x$-coordinate of the point on the graph that has the $y$-coordinate $C.$ Then, the $x$-coordinate is the solution to the equation.Solve the equation graphically. $32x+2 =x−1$

Show Solution

When solving an equation graphically it is necessary to have all variables on one side. Therefore, we'll first rearrange the equation. $32x+2 =x−1⇔32x+2 −x=-1$ The expression on the left-hand side can now be seen as the function, $f(x)=32x+2 −x.$ We'll graph the function.

Next, we can identify the points that have the $y$-coordinate $-1,$ then find the corresponding $x$-coordinates.

Since the point $(3,-1)$ is a point on $f,$ $x=3$ is a solution to the equation. We can verify this by testing it in the equation.$32x+2 =x−1$

Substitute$x=3$

$32⋅3+2 =?3−1$

MultiplyMultiply

$36+2 =?3−1$

AddSubTermsAdd and subtract terms

$38 =?2$

CalcRootCalculate root

$2=2$

Radical equations can be solved algebraically using inverse operations. Specifically, to undo the radical, both sides of the equation can be raised to the same power as the index of the radical. For example,

$(3x+2 )_{3}⇔x+2.$ Because some radicals can only take certain $x$-values, this process can produce extraneous solutions, or solutions that do not actually satisfy the equation. Therefore, each solution must be verified in the original equation.Consider the following equation as an example. $2=x+2x−1 $

Isolate the radical on one side

Eliminate the radical

Solve the equation

$(2−x)_{2}=2x−1$

ExpandNegPerfectSquare$(a−b)_{2}=a_{2}−2ab+b_{2}$

$2_{2}−2⋅2x+x_{2}=2x−1$

CalcPowProdCalculate power and product

$4−4x+x_{2}=2x−1$

$4−4x+x_{2}=2x−1$

SubEqn$LHS−2x=RHS−2x$

$4−6x+x_{2}=-1$

AddEqn$LHS+1=RHS+1$

$5−6x+x_{2}=0$

RearrangeEqnRearrange equation

$x_{2}−6x+5=0$

UseQuadFormUse the Quadratic Formula: $a=1,b=-6,c=5$

$x=2⋅1-(-6)±(-6)_{2}−4⋅1⋅5 $

NegNeg$-(-a)=a$

$x=2⋅16±(-6)_{2}−4⋅1⋅5 $

CalcPowProdCalculate power and product

$x=26±36−20 $

SubTermSubtract term

$x=26±16 $

CalcRootCalculate root

$x=26±4 $

StateSolState solutions

$x=26+4 x=26−4 $

AddSubTermsAdd and subtract terms

$x=210 x=22 $

CalcQuotCalculate quotient

$x=5x=1 $

Check for extraneous solutions

$2=x+2x−1 $

Substitute$x=5$

$2=?5+2⋅5−1 $

MultiplyMultiply

$2=?5+10−1 $

SubTermsSubtract terms

$2=?5+9 $

CalcRootCalculate root

$2=?5+3$

AddTermsAdd terms

$2 =8$

Since $x=1$ makes a true statement, it is a solution to the radical equation. With regard to discussing solutions, it can be said that $2=x+2x−1 $ has one solution and one extraneous solution.

The Lorenz factor, $γ,$ is used for calculations within the Theory of Relativity. It is defined as $γ=1−β_{2} 1 ,β>0.$ Find $β,$ when $γ=1.25.$

Show Solution

Here, the Greek letters gamma, $γ,$ and beta, $β,$ are used to denote the variables. We can solve for $β$ by substituting $γ=1.25$ into the equation and using inverse operations to isolate $β.$
To eliminate the radical, both sides of the equation can be squared.
Lastly, we can determine if $β=0.6$ is an extraneous solution.
As $β=0.6$ made a true statement, it is a solution to the equation.

$γ=1−β_{2} 1 $

Substitute$γ=1.25$

$1.25=1−β_{2} 1 $

MultEqn$LHS⋅1−β_{2} =RHS⋅1−β_{2} $

$1.25⋅1−β_{2} =1$

DivEqn$LHS/1.25=RHS/1.25$

$1−β_{2} =1.251 $

UseCalcUse a calculator

$1−β_{2} =0.8$

$1−β_{2} =0.8$

RaiseEqn$LHS_{2}=RHS_{2}$

$(1−β_{2} )_{2}=0.8_{2}$

PowSqrt$(a )_{2}=a$

$1−β_{2}=0.8_{2}$

CalcPowCalculate power

$1−β_{2}=0.64$

SubEqn$LHS−1=RHS−1$

$-β_{2}=-0.36$

DivEqn$LHS/(-1)=RHS/(-1)$

$β_{2}=0.36$

SqrtEqn$LHS =RHS $

$β=±0.36 $

$β>0$

$β=0.36 $

CalcRootCalculate root

$β=0.6$

$1.25=1−β_{2} 1 $

Substitute$β=0.6$

$1.25=?1−0.6_{2} 1 $

CalcPowCalculate power

$1.25=?1−0.36 1 $

SubTermSubtract term

$1.25=?0.64 1 $

CalcRootCalculate root

$1.25=?0.81 $

UseCalcUse a calculator

$1.25=1.25$

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