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Scott, MIT Graduate

Category: Pre-Calculus

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Hello Scott,
Why is it important to simplify radical expressions

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Hello Scott,

Why is it important to simplify radical expressions before adding or subtracting? How is adding radical expressions similar to adding polynomial expressions? How is it different? Provide a radical expression for your classmates to simplify. Consider participating in the discussion by simplifying your classmates' expressions. Detail what would have happened if the expression was not simplified first.

Ok, you can post them here, and I'll respond to each of them :)

Why is it important to simplify radical expressions before adding or subtracting?

You have to simplify radical expressions before you add or subtract them because you can only combine them if they are like terms -- meaning if the value inside the root is the same, and the index of the root is the same.

How is adding radical expressions similar to adding polynomial expressions? How is it different?

This is similar to adding polynomials, because for those also, you can only add like terms. The main difference is the definition of like terms. For radicals, it means the same value inside the root and same index. For polynomials, it means that the variables and the powers on them are the same.

Provide a radical expression for your classmates to simplify.

sqrt(8) + sqrt(2)

Solution:

sqrt(4*2) + sqrt(2)

= 2sqrt(2) + sqrt(2)

= 3sqrt(2)

Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX post the classmates' ones :)

-Scott

Scott and other Pre-Calculus Specialists are ready to help you

Hmm, your right!! Don't worry about 4 and 10. I'll post a couple of new ones as soon as I see more. Thank you. I have to run to school now so I can accept your answer in about 4-5 hours. Thank you :)