# Solving Rational Equations and Inequalities

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1 8-5 Solving Rational Equations and Inequalities TEKS 2A.10.D Rational functions: determine the solutions of rational equations using graphs, tables, and algebraic methods. Objective Solve rational equations and inequalities. Vocabulary rational equation extraneous solution rational inequality Who uses this? Kayakers can use rational equations to determine how fast a river is moving. (See Example 3.) A rational equation is an equation that contains one or more rational expressions. The time t in hours that it takes to travel d miles can be determined by using the equation t = d r, where r is the average rate of speed. This equation is a rational equation. Also 2A.2.A, 2A.10.A, 2A.10.B, 2A.10.C, 2A.10.E, 2A.10.F To solve a rational equation, start by multiplying each term of the equation by the least common denominator (LCD) of all of the expressions in the equation. This step eliminates the denominators of the rational expressions and results in an equation you can solve by using algebra. EXAMPLE 1 Solving Rational Equations 8_ Solve the equation x + x = 6. Factoring is not the only method of solving the quadratic equation that results in Example 1. You could also complete the square or use the Quadratic Formula. x (x) + _ 8 (x) x = 6 (x) Multiply each term by the LCD, x. x = 6x Simplify. Note that x 0. x 2-6x + 8 = 0 (x - 2) (x - 4) = 0 Factor. x - 2 = 0 or x - 4 = 0 Check x = 2 or x = 4 Solve for x. x + _ 8 x = _ 8 2 Write in standard form. Apply the Zero Product Property. x + _ 8 x = _ a. _ 10 3 = _ 4 x + 2 1b. _ 6 x + _ 5 4 = - _ 7 4 1c. x = 6 _ x - 1 An extraneous solution is a solution of an equation derived from an original equation that is not a solution of the original equation. When you solve a rational equation, it is possible to get extraneous solutions. These values should be eliminated from the solution set. Always check your solutions by substituting them into the original equation. 600 Chapter 8 Rational and Radical Functions

2 EXAMPLE 2 Extraneous Solutions 3x A = 2x + 3 _ 3x () = _ 2x + 3 () Multiply each term by the LCD,. _ 3x () = _ 2x + 3 () Divide out common factors. 3x = 2x + 3 Simplify. Note that x 3. A rational expression is undefined for any value of a variable that makes a denominator in the expression equal to 0. x = 3 Solve for x. The solution x = 3 is extraneous because it makes the denominators of the original equation equal to 0. Therefore, the equation has no solution. Check Substitute 3 for x in the original equation. _ 3 (3) 3-3 = _ 2 (3) _ 9_ Division by 0 is undefined. 0 0 B x_ 5_ + 2 = 2 () + _ x Multiply 2 2 () = 5_ 2 () each term by the LCD, 2 (). 2 () + _ x 2 2 () = 5_ 2 () Divide out common factors. 2 (2x - 9) + x () = 5 (2) Simplify. Note that x 7. 4x x 2-7x = 10 x 2-3x - 28 = 0 () (x + 4) = 0 Factor. Use the Distributive Property. Write in standard form. Use the Zero Product = 0 or x + 4 = 0 Property. x = 7 or x = -4 Solve for x. The solution x = 7 is extraneous because it makes the denominators of the original equation equal to 0. The only solution is x = -4. Check Write + x 2 = 5 + x 2-5 as = 0. Graph the left side of the equation as Y1 and identify the values of x for which Y1 = 0. The graph intersects the x-axis only when x = -4. Therefore, x = -4 is the only solution. 2a. _ 16 x 2-16 = 2_ x - 4 2b. x - 1 = x_ x _ x Solving Rational Equations and Inequalities 601

3 EXAMPLE 3 Problem-Solving Application A kayaker spends an afternoon paddling on a river. She travels 3 mi upstream and 3 mi downstream in a total of 4 h. In still water, the kayaker can travel at an average speed of 2 mi/h. Based on this information, what is the average speed of the river s current? 1 Understand the Problem The answer will be the average speed of the current. List the important information: The kayaker spent 4 hours kayaking. She went 3 mi upstream and 3 mi downstream. Her average speed in still water is 2 mi/h. 2 Make a Plan distance = rate time Therefore, time = _ distance rate. Let c represent the speed of the current. When the kayaker is going upstream, her speed is equal to her speed in still water minus c. When the kayaker is going downstream, her speed is equal to her speed in still water plus c. Distance (mi) Average Speed (mi/h) Up c Down c total time = time upstream + time downstream 4 = c 2 + c 3 Solve 4 (2 - c) (2 + c) = 2 - c (2 - c) (2 + c) + (2 The LCD is - c) (2 + c) 2 + c (2 - c) (2 + c). 4 (2 - c) (2 + c) = 3 (2 + c) + 3 (2 - c) Simplify. Note that c ±2. Time (h) 2 - c 2 + c 16-4 c 2 = 6 + 3c + 6-3c Use the Distributive Property c 2 = 12 Combine like terms. -4 c 2 = -4 Solve for c. c = ±1 The speed of the current cannot be negative. Therefore, the average speed of the current is 1 mi/h. 4 Look Back If the speed of the current is 1 mi/h, the kayaker s speed when going upstream is 2-1 = 1 mi/h. It will take her 3 h to travel 3 mi upstream. Her speed when going downstream is = 3 mi/h. It will take her 1 hour to travel 3 mi downstream. The total trip will take 4 h, which is the given time. 602 Chapter 8 Rational and Radical Functions Use the information given above to answer the following. 3. On a different river, the kayaker travels 2 mi upstream and 2 mi downstream in a total of 5 h. What is the average speed of the current of this river? Round to the nearest tenth.

4 EXAMPLE 4 Work Application Jason can clean a large tank at an aquarium in about 6 hours. When Jason and Lacy work together, they can clean the tank in about 3.5 hours. About how long would it take Lacy to clean the tank if she works by herself? Jason s rate: _ 1 of the tank per hour 6 Lacy s rate: _ 1 of the tank per hour, where h is the number of hours needed h to clean the tank by herself Jason s rate hours worked + Lacy s rate hours worked = 1 complete job 6 (3.5) + h (3.5) = 1 6 (3.5)(6h) + _ 1 (3.5)(6h) = 1 (6h) Multiply by the LCD, 6h. h 3.5h + 21 = 6h Simplify. 21 = 2.5h Solve for h. 8.4 = h It will take Lacy about 8.4 hours, or 8 hours 24 minutes, to clean the tank when working by herself. 4. Julien can mulch a garden in 20 minutes. Together, Julien and Remy can mulch the same garden in 11 minutes. How long will it take Remy to mulch the garden when working alone? A rational inequality is an inequality that contains one or more rational expressions. One way to solve rational inequalities is by using graphs and tables. EXAMPLE 5 Using Graphs and Tables to Solve Rational Equations and Inequalities The solution x < 4 or x 8 can be written in set-builder notation as x x < 4 x 8 Solve x_ 2 by using a graph and a table. x - 4 Use a graph. On a graphing x calculator, let Y1 = Y2 = 2. x - 4 and The graph of Y1 is at or below the graph of Y2 when x < 4 or when x 8. Use a table. The table shows that Y1 is undefined when x = 4 and that Y1 Y2 when x < 4 or when x 8. The solution of the inequality is x < 4 or x 8. Solve by using a graph and a table. 5a. x_ 4 5b. 8_ x + 1 = Solving Rational Equations and Inequalities 603

5 You can also solve rational inequalities algebraically. You start by multiplying each term by the least common denominator (LCD) of all the expressions in the inequality. However, you must consider two cases: the LCD is positive or the LCD is negative. EXAMPLE 6 Solving Rational Inequalities Algebraically If you multiply or divide both sides of an inequality by a negative value, you must reverse the inequality symbol. Solve the inequality Case 1 LCD is positive. 8_ x algebraically. Step 1 Solve for x. 8_ (x + 5) 4 (x + 5) x + 5 Multiply by the LCD. 8 4x + 20 Simplify. Note that x x Solve for x. -3 x x -3 Rewrite with the variable on the left. Case 2 LCD is negative. Step 1 Solve for x. 8_ (x + 5) 4 (x + 5) x + 5 Multiply by the LCD. Reverse the inequality. 8 4x + 20 Simplify. Note that x x Solve for x. -3 x x -3 Rewrite with the variable on the left. Step 2 Consider the sign of the LCD. x + 5 > 0 LCD is positive. x > -5 Solve for x. For Case 1, the solution must satisfy x -3 and x > -5, which simplifies to x -3. Step 2 Consider the sign of the LCD. x + 5 < 0 LCD is negative. x < -5 Solve for x. For Case 2, the solution must satisfy x -3 and x < -5, which simplifies to x < -5. The solution set of the original inequality is the union of the solutions 8 to both Case 1 and Case 2. The solution to the inequality x is x < -5 or x -3, or x x < -5 x -3. Solve each inequality algebraically. 6a. 6_ x b. 9_ x + 3 < 6 THINK AND DISCUSS 1. Explain why multiplying both sides of a rational equation by the LCD eliminates all of the denominators. 2. Explain why rational equations may have extraneous solutions. 3. Describe two methods for solving the inequality 12 x > GET ORGANIZED Copy and complete the graphic organizer. In each box, write the appropriate information related to rational equations. 604 Chapter 8 Rational and Radical Functions

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