# Square Roots. Learning Objectives. Pre-Activity

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1 Section 1. Pre-Activity Preparation Square Roots Our number system has two important sets of numbers: rational and irrational. The most common irrational numbers result from taking the square root of non-perfect squares. The examples below show how square roots are commonly used in different professions. Home decorating A remnant of carpet in the shape of a square is advertised as 16 square yards. That will cover an area that measures 4 yards by 4 yards or a room that is 1 feet by 1 feet. Law enforcement In order to find the speed of a car after a collision, an investigator can measure the length of the skid marks (L) and apply the formula: speed 5L Utilities A device called a Square Root Planimeter is used by oil, gas and utility companies for evaluation of flowmeter charts to average square root recordings of static and differential pressure. Computer programming Square root and absolute value functions are often used in computer programming to ensure a positive number is used for calculations. Distance formula Calculation of the distance between two points is done by taking the square root of the sum of the squares of the differences between the x and y coordinates. Statistics Standard deviation is the square root of the variance of data from the mean. Learning Objectives Simplify expressions containing square roots Evaluate and approximate square roots Classify numbers as rational or irrational Terminology Previously Used exponent factor integer ratio New Terms to Learn imaginary number irrational number radical sign radical expression radicand rational number rationalizing real numbers root square root 41

2 4 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions Building Mathematical Language Notation The symbol for square root is called a radical sign: The number under the radical sign is the radicand. Together they form a radical expression. Radical sign 5 Radicand Another representation for the positive square root of five is 5 ½, where the fraction 1, written as the exponent, represents the radical sign. Square Roots A square root of a number a is a number r such that r a, or in words, a number r whose square (the result of multiplying the number by itself) is a. For example, is the square root of 9 because 9. The square of a square root is the number itself a : a a. For example, :. The square root of a number can be represented as either a positive or a negative value: 49 indicates the positive square root of 49 and is equal to 7 because indicates the negative square root of 49 and is equal to 7 because ( 7) 49. ± 49 means both the positive and negative square roots of 49: 7 and 7. The square root of a number can be visualized by the Home Decorating example in the introduction. The edge of the carpet is the square root of the area of the carpet. In general then, r r That is, the square root of r squared is equal to r. area r (4 yd)(4 yd) 16 yd r (4 yd) r (4 yd) Future Math We can extend the concept of square roots with a similar definition. For example a cube root of a number a is a number r such that r a, or in words, a number r whose cube (the result of multiplying the number three times) is a. The cube of a cube root is the number itself: a : a : a a Square Roots of Negative Numbers In the set of real numbers, there is no number whose square is negative; therefore, both square roots of a negative number are undefined within the set of real numbers. The square root of a negative number is called imaginary and is indicated with a lower case i; for example, 49 7i. Radical coefficients If there is a number in front of the radical sign (similar to a coefficient), then the radical expression is to be multiplied by that number:

3 Section 1. Square Roots 4 Classifying Numbers The Real Number System has many categories for classifying numbers. You have already worked with whole numbers and integers. We now will introduce two more categories of numbers: Rational and Irrational numbers. Rational numbers are those numbers that can be expressed as the ratio of two integers. Here are some examples of rational numbers: Why is this the case? We can rewrite each number as the ratio of two integers: ½ 7 7 /1 5. 5/ /1 0. 1/ Irrational numbers are those numbers that cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers. The Real numbers include the set of rational numbers as well as the set of irrational numbers. The following are examples of irrational numbers: 7, π, , and 14 7 is an irrational number. The value of 7 can be estimated; it is between and. The first few digits are: , but that is not the exact value; it is a decimal approximation. In order to work with this value, we can determine how many decimal places are accurate enough for our purposes and then round off or truncate the number. Because rounding off a number leads to less precise calculations and there are an infinite number of decimal places in the approximation of any irrational number, mathematicians prefer to keep irrational number, such as 7, in radical form. This is the exact value, and certainly easier to read, write, say, and even easier to use for calculations than the decimal approximation. Perfect Square Factors A perfect square is a number that can be written as the product of another whole number times itself. For example, 16 is a perfect square because it can be written as 4 4. When finding (often referred to as taking) the square root of a given number, determine if it has any perfect square factors. For example, the perfect square factors of 1 are 1 and 4. While, and 6 are also factors of 1, none of the three is a perfect square factor. 1, 4, 5, and 100 are perfect square factors of 100;, 5, 0, and 50 are not. Simplifying Expressions with Square Roots The following two properties allow simplification of square root expressions. The Product Property for Square Roots states that the product of two square roots equals the square root of their product. For all non-negative real numbers α and b, a : b ab and ab a : b Example: 4 : 4 : and 4 : 4 : 5 7, 5.,, 6, 0. 6 The Quotient Property for Square Roots states that the quotient of two square roots equals the square root of their quotient. a b a b For all non-negative real numbers α and b, where b 0, a and b a b Example: and 18 18

4 44 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions Methodologies Simplifying Expressions with Square Roots A simplified expression with radical signs must meet the following criteria: 1. No perfect squares in the radicand. No fractions in the radicand. No square root expressions in the denominator Example 1: Simplify: Example : Simplify: 00x : y 0x : 5x Try It! Steps in the Methodology Example 1 Example Step 1 Set up the problem Step Write under one radical sign Visually align the problem so you can see the relationships to determine if the problem is to be simplified, multiplied, or divided. Use the appropriate product and/or quotient properties to rewrite the problem so that there is only one radical sign. 00x : y 00 : x : : y Step Simplify Multiply, divide, or reduce fractions as needed to simplify the radicand. 400 : x : y Step 4 Find perfect square factors Rewrite the radicand using its perfect square factors. If there is a denominator, make sure it is a perfect square. Special Case: If the denominator is not a perfect square, see Model and the accompanying Technique. 0 : x : y no denominator Step 5 Find square roots Step 6 Validate Using the Product or Quotient Properties for Square Roots, take the square root of each perfect square factor found in step 4. If there are factors that are not perfect squares, leave them under the radical sign. Assign a value for each variable and determine if the evaluation of the original problem is equal to the evaluation of the answer. You may use a calculator. See Technique 1. Note: Do not use 0, 1, or as values for the variables. 0xy Let x and y 4 00 : : : : 40 and 0 : : 4 40

5 Section 1. Square Roots 45 Models Model 1: Dividing Radical Expressions Simplify: 5x 15x Step 1 Simplify 5x 15x Step 4 Find perfect square factors 5 is a perfect square: x 5 Step Write under one radical 5x 15x Step 5 Find square roots Answer: x 5 Step Simplify 5 x x x 5 15 x 5 Step 6 Validate Let x 5 : 15 : 5 : : and Techniques Evaluating Square Roots First, mentally simplify an expression. Then, using a computational tool, determine the decimal value of the radicand and calculate the product of the coefficient(s) and the decimal approximation of the radical value. Round off to the desired number of places. Use the symbol to mean approximately equal. Find the decimal approximation of 7 to thousandths:

6 46 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions Techniques Rationalizing a Denominator When dividing rational expressions, the best case is that the denominator is a perfect square. But what if it is not? We can use a technique called rationalizing in order to turn the denominator into a perfect square so that we can continue with Step 4 of the Methodology. Here is a simple example of how to rationalize a denominator: The starting expression does not contain a perfect square in the denominator Identify what number, when multiplied by the denominator, creates a perfect square. Think, What number, when multiplied by, will create a perfect square? The answer is because 9, a perfect square. Multiply both the numerator and denominator by this number. Recall that multiplying a fraction by 1 in the form of Property). any number the same number does not change its value (Identity for Multiplication Once we have carried out the multiplication, we have the end expression that contains a perfect square in the denominator. We can now continue with Step 4 of the Methodology. start end x x : x : 9 Model : Simplifying when the Denominator is not a Perfect Square Simplify: Step 1 Step Step 5x 50x Simplify Write under one radical Simplify 5x 50x 5x 50x 5 x x x x 50 The denominator is not a perfect square. Use the Technique for Rationalizing a Denominator: Think, What number, when multiplied by 50, will create a perfect square? The answer is. x : x 50 : 100

7 Section 1. Square Roots Model (continued) Step 4 Find perfect square factors 100 is a perfect square Step 5 Find square roots Answer: Step 6 Validate Let x x 10 x 10 5 : : : 50 : and : Model Evaluate or approximate the following square roots to four decimal places if needed. Problem Evaluate Validate : The square root was determined by using a calculator. To validate, take the approximate answer and square it. The answer should be close to the original radicand ( )( ) The square root was determined by using a calculator. To validate, take the approximate answer and square it. The answer should be close to the original radicand Exact answer: 4 4 : 6 : 6 Approximate answer: : a Use a calculator: 0 ' 5 results in 5 5 a a : a : a pair 1 a a a a : a a Let a and : 8

8 48 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions Techniques Determining if a Number is Rational Find a representation of a given number as a ratio of two integers. If you can, the number is rational. If not, it is irrational. Model 4 Classify the following numbers as rational, irrational, or neither. Give your reasoning and then evaluate, if necessary. Problem Classification Reasoning Evaluate / rational It is a fraction a ratio of two integers:. / rational can be expressed as a fraction: rational It can be expressed as a ratio: 55/ rational It simplifies to a whole number. 6-6 rational or irrational irrational 6 is not a perfect square, nor does it have a perfect square factor to take the root of. It cannot be represented by a ratio of integers. It is a non-repeating, non-terminating decimal..449 to the nearest thousandth 4.1 to the nearest tenth -6 neither The square root of a negative number is an imaginary number. 6i

9 Section 1. Square Roots 49 Addressing Common Errors Issue Incorrect Process Resolution Correct Process Validation Forgetting to remove the radical sign when taking the square root 9x x Squaring and taking the square root of a number are opposite processes. Taking the square root of a perfect square removes both the radical and the exponent. 9x x Enter any value for the variable and compare expressions. Let x; compare: 9 : 81 9 and : 9 Not removing all perfect square factors when simplifying a radical expression 48 4 : 1 1 Write the radicand as a product of prime factors under the radical. Pair the prime factors into perfect squares. Factor: 48 : : : : 48 : : : 4 Work backwards: 4 : 4 16 : 48 Simplifying radical fractions without using the Quotient Property for square roots 6x 50xy x 6 5y x Use the Quotient Property for square roots to determine if the fractions reduce to perfect square factors. 6x 50xy 6x 50xy : x x : 5 x y x x 5y 5y Let x and y 4: 6x 50xy : 50 : : and : 5 : Not knowing when to remove the radical sign or Once the square root has been taken, the radical sign is eliminated. 81 : : : : : 9 pair1 pair

10 50 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions Preparation Inventory Before proceeding, you should have an understanding of each of the following: Relating perfect squares and square roots Using the methodology to apply the Product and Quotient Properties for Square Roots to simplify radical expressions Approximating the value of a square root with a calculator Classifying a number as rational or irrational

11 Section 1. Activity Square Roots Performance Criteria Simplifying any given radical expression application of the appropriate property or properties accuracy of calculations validation of the answer Classifying a number as rational or irrational correctly classified supported by justification Evaluating or approximating the square root of a number using a calculator accurately and appropriately rounded off appropriate use of and validation of the answer Critical Thinking Questions 1. How many square roots of any given number are there?. How do you know if a radical expression is in its simplest form?. How do you show the exact answer or an approximate answer to a square root problem? 51

12 5 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions 4. What makes a number rational? 5. What is the difference between 6 and find the square roots of 6? 6. How do you find perfect square factors when simplifying a radical expression? 7. What is the difference between the negative square root of a number and the square root of a negative number? Tips for Success Validate your answer by using your calculator Document each step to avoid shortcuts that lead to errors The square root radical sign undoes the square of a number:

13 Section 1. Square Roots 5 Demonstrate Your Understanding 1. Simplify the following radical expressions: Problem Answer Validation a) 150 b) - 5y 4 c) d) 54x e) 0x f) 48x g) 1x h) 50x

14 54 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions. Use the Product and Quotient Properties to simplify the following radical expressions: Problem Answer Validation a) 9 : 6 b) 100 : 5 c) 5a : 0a d) e) 6 4 f) 8y y g) y 18y h) 5a 7a

15 Section 1. Square Roots 55. Use your calculator to evaluate or approximate the following square roots. Use four decimal places for approximate answers. a) 11 b) 4 c) - 9 d) 10 answer: answer: answer: answer: e) - 64 f) - 19 g) 1000 h) answer: answer: answer: answer: 4. Identify the following as rational or irrational and give a justification: Problem Rational or Irrational? Justification a) 6 b) 7 c) 16 d) 6 e) 0. f) g)

16 56 Chapter 1 Evaluating Expressions Identify and Correct the Errors In the second column, identify the error(s) in the worked solution or validate its answer. If the worked solution is incorrect, solve the problem correctly in the third column and validate your answer. Worked Solution Identify Errors or Validate Correct Process Validation 1) ) 4 is simplified because 4 6 : 7, so there are no perfect square factors to remove from the radicand. ) 10 1 : 10 4) ) 6x 1x 6x 1x

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