# Solving Quadratic Equations by Completing the Square

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1 9. Solving Quadratic Equations by Completing the Square 9. OBJECTIVES 1. Solve a quadratic equation by the square root method. Solve a quadratic equation by completing the square. Solve a geometric application involving a quadratic equation In Section 6.9, we solved quadratic equations by factoring and using the zero product rule. However, not all equations are factorable over the integers. In this section, we will look at another method that can be used to solve a quadratic equation, called the square root method. First, we will solve a special type of equation using the factoring method of Chapter 6. Example 1 Solving Equations by Factoring Solve the quadratic equation x 16 by factoring. We write the equation in standard form: x 16 0 NOTE Here, we factor the quadratic member of the equation as a difference of squares. Factoring, we have (x 4)(x 4) 0 Finally, the solutions are x 4 or x 4 or 4 CHECK YOURSELF 1 Solve each of the following quadratic equations. (a) 5x 180 (b) x 5 The equation in Example 1 could have been solved in an alternative fashion. We could have used what is called the square root method. Again, given the equation 001 McGraw-Hill Companies NOTE Be sure to include both the positive and the negative square roots when you use the square root method. x 16 we can write the equivalent statement x 116 or x 116 This yields the solutions x 4 or x 4 or 4 This discussion leads us to the following general result. 679

2 680 CHAPTER 9 QUADRATIC EQUATIONS, FUNCTIONS, AND INEQUALITIES Rules and Properties: Square Root Property If x k, when k is a complex number, then x k or x k Example further illustrates the use of this property. Example Using the Square Root Method Solve each equation by using the square root method. (a) x 9 By the square root property, x 19 or x 19 or NOTE If a calculator were used, (rounded to three decimal places). NOTE In Example (d) we see that complex-number solutions may result. (b) x 17 0 Add 17 to both sides of the equation. x 17 so x 117 or 117 or 117, 117 (c) x 0 x x x A x 16 (d) x 1 0 x 1 x 11 x i or i or 16 CHECK YOURSELF Solve each equation. (a) x 5 (b) x 0 (c) x 8 0 (d) x 9 0 We can also use the approach in Example to solve an equation of the form (x ) McGraw-Hill Companies

3 SOLVING QUADRATIC EQUATIONS BY COMPLETING THE SQUARE SECTION As before, by the square root property we have x 4 Subtract from both sides of the equation. Solving for x yields x 4 which means that there are two solutions: x 4 or x or 1, 7 Example Using the Square Root Method Use the square root method to solve each equation. NOTE The two solutions 5 15 and 5 15 are abbreviated as Using a calculator, we find the approximate solutions.76, 7.4. NOTE We have solved for y and rationalized the denominator A Then we combine the terms on the right, using the common denominator of. (a) (x 5) 5 0 (x 5) 5 x 5 15 x 5 15 or 5 15 (b) (y 1) 0 (y 1) (y 1) y 1 A y The approximate solutions are 1.8, or 16 CHECK YOURSELF Using the square root method, solve each equation. (a) (x ) 0 (b) (x 1) McGraw-Hill Companies NOTE If (x h) k, then x h 1k and x h 1k Not all quadratic equations can be solved directly by factoring or using the square root method. We must extend our techniques. The square root method is useful in this process because any quadratic equation can be written in the form (x h) k which yields the solution x h 1k

4 68 CHAPTER 9 QUADRATIC EQUATIONS, FUNCTIONS, AND INEQUALITIES NOTE Notice that this relationship is true only if the leading, or x, coefficient is 1. That will be important later. The process of changing an equation in standard form ax bx c 0 to the form (x h) k is called the method of completing the square, and it is based on the relationship between the middle term and the last term of any perfect-square trinomial. Let s look at three perfect-square trinomials to see whether we can detect a pattern: x 4x 4 (x ) (1) x 6x 9 (x ) () x 8x 16 (x 4) () Note that in each case the last (or constant) term is the square of one-half of the coefficient of x in the middle (or linear) term. For example, in equation (), x 6x 9 (x ) 1 of this coefficient is, and () 9, the constant. Verify this relationship for yourself in equation (). To summarize, in perfect-square trinomials, the constant is always the square of one-half the coefficient of x. We are now ready to use the above observation in the solution of quadratic equations by completing the square. Consider Example 4. Example 4 Completing the Square to Solve an Equation NOTE Remember that if (x h) k, then x h 1k. NOTE and 4 16 NOTE When you graph the related function, y x 8x 7, you will note that the x values for the x intercepts are just below 1 and just above 9. Be certain that you see how these points relate to the exact solutions, 4 and 4 1. Solve x 8x 7 0 by completing the square. First, we rewrite the equation with the constant on the right-hand side: x 8x 7 Our objective is to have a perfect-square trinomial on the left-hand side. We know that we must add the square of one-half of the x coefficient to complete the square. In this case, that value is 16, so now we add 16 to each side of the equation. x 8x Factor the perfect-square trinomial on the left, and combine like terms on the right to yield (x 4) Now the square root property yields x 4 1 Subtracting 4 from both sides of the equation gives x 4 1 or 4 1 As decimals, these solutions are approximated by 8.8, CHECK YOURSELF 4 Solve x 6x 0 by completing the square. 001 McGraw-Hill Companies

5 SOLVING QUADRATIC EQUATIONS BY COMPLETING THE SQUARE SECTION Example 5 Completing the Square to Solve an Equation NOTE Add the square of onehalf of the x coefficient to both sides of the equation. Note that Solve x 5x 0 by completing the square. x 5x 0 Add to both sides. x 5x x 5x 5 x x Solve for x. x The approximate solutions are 5.54, Make the left-hand side a perfect square. Take the square root of both sides. or 5 17 CHECK YOURSELF 5 Solve x x 7 0 by completing the square. Some equations have nonreal complex solutions, as Example 6 illustrates. Example 6 Completing the Square to Solve an Equation NOTE Notice that the graph of y x 4x 1 does not intercept the x axis. Solve x 4x 1 0 by completing the square. x 4x 1 0 Subtract 1 from both sides. x 4x 1 Add B 1 to both sides. (4)R x 4x Factor the left-hand side. 001 McGraw-Hill Companies (x ) 9 Take the square root of both sides. x 19 Simplify the radical. x 19i x i x i or i CHECK YOURSELF 6 Solve x x Example 7 illustrates a situation in which the leading coefficient of the quadratic member is not equal to 1. As you will see, an extra step is required.

6 684 CHAPTER 9 QUADRATIC EQUATIONS, FUNCTIONS, AND INEQUALITIES Example 7 Completing the Square to Solve an Equation CAUTION Before you can complete the square on the left, the coefficient of x must be equal to 1. Otherwise, we must divide both sides of the equation by that coefficient. NOTE We have rationalized the denominator and combined the terms on the right side. Solve x 6x 7 0 by completing the square. x 6x 7 0 Add 7 to both sides. x 6x 7 Divide both sides by. x x Now, complete the square on the left. 7 x x 1 1 The left side is now a perfect square. (x 1) x 1 x 1 7 A A CHECK YOURSELF 7 Solve x 8x 0 by completing the square. The following algorithm summarizes our work in this section with solving quadratic equations by completing the square. Step by Step: Completing the Square Step 1 Step Step Step 4 Step 5 Isolate the constant on the right side of the equation. Divide both sides of the equation by the coefficient of the x term if that coefficient is not equal to 1. Add the square of one-half of the coefficient of the linear term to both sides of the equation. This will give a perfect-square trinomial on the left side of the equation. Write the left side of the equation as the square of a binomial, and simplify on the right side. Use the square root property, and then solve the resulting linear equations. Let s proceed now to applications involving geometry. Example 8 Applying the Completing of a Square The length of a rectangle is 4 cm greater than its width. If the area of the rectangle is 8 cm, what are the approximate dimensions of the rectangle? Step 1 You are asked to find the dimensions (the length and the width) of the rectangle. 001 McGraw-Hill Companies

7 SOLVING QUADRATIC EQUATIONS BY COMPLETING THE SQUARE SECTION Step Whenever geometric figures are involved in an application, start by drawing, and then labeling, a sketch of the problem. Letting x represent the width and x 4 the length, we have Width x x 4 Length Step The area of a rectangle is the product of its length and width, so x(x 4) 8 NOTE Multiply and complete the square. Step 4 x(x 4) 8 x 4x 8 x 4x (x ) 11 x 111 x 111 Step 5 We reject 111 (cm) as a solution. A length cannot be negative, and so we must consider only 111 (cm) in finding the required dimensions. The width x is approximately 8.6 cm, and the length x 4 is 1.6 cm. Because (8.6 cm) (1.6 cm) gives a rectangle of area 8.6 cm, the solution is verified. CHECK YOURSELF 8 In a triangle, the base is 4 in. less than its height. If its area is 5 in., find the length of the base and the height of the triangle. Example 9 Applying the Completing of a Square An open box is formed from a rectangular piece of cardboard, whose length is in. more than its width, by cutting -in. squares from each corner and folding up the sides. If the volume of the box is to be 0 in., what must be the size of the original piece of cardboard? Step 1 We are asked for the dimensions of the sheet of cardboard. 001 McGraw-Hill Companies Step x Again sketch the problem. x

8 686 CHAPTER 9 QUADRATIC EQUATIONS, FUNCTIONS, AND INEQUALITIES Step To form an equation for volume, we sketch the completed box. NOTE The original width of the cardboard was x. Removing two -in. squares leaves x 4 for the width of the box. Similarly, the length of the box is x. Do you see why? (Height) x (Length) x 4 (Width) Because volume is the product of height, length, and width, (x )(x 4) 0 Step 4 (x )(x 4) 0 (x )(x 4) 50 x 6x 8 50 x 6x 4 x 6x (x ) 51 x 151 x 151 Divide both sides by, and multiply on the left. Then solve as before. Step 5 Again, we need consider only the positive solution. The width x of the original piece of cardboard is approximately.14 in., and its length x is 1.14 in. The dimensions of the completed box will be 6.14 by 8.14 by in., which gives volume of an approximate 0 in. CHECK YOURSELF 9 A similar box is to be made by cutting -cm squares from a piece of cardboard that is 4 cm longer than it is wide. If the required volume is 00 cm, find the dimensions of the original sheet of cardboard. CHECK YOURSELF ANSWERS 1. (a) 6, 6; (b) 5, 5. (a) 15, 15; (b) 1, 1; (c) 16 ; (d) i, i (a) ; (b), i Base 6.6 in.; height.6 in cm 18. cm 001 McGraw-Hill Companies

9 Name 9. Exercises Section Date In exercises 1 to 8, solve by factoring or completing the square. 1. x 6x 5 0. x 5x 6 0 ANSWERS 1... z z q 5q x 5x 0 6. x x y y 0 8. z z 1 0 In exercises 9 to 0, use the square root method to find solutions for the equations. 9. x 6. x y 7 1. p x x McGraw-Hill Companies 15. t u (x 1) (x ) (z 1) 0 0. (p 4)

10 ANSWERS In exercises 1 to, find the constant that must be added to each binomial expression to form a perfect-square trinomial. 1. x 1x. r 14r y 8y 4. w 16w 5. x x 6. z 5z 7. n n 8. x x x x 0. x x 1. x ax. y 4ay In exercises to 54, solve each equation by completing the square.. x 1x 0 4. x 14x y y 8 6. z 4z x x x x x x x x z 5z q 8q m m y y x x x x 47. x x x x McGraw-Hill Companies 688

11 ANSWERS 49. x 6x 50. 4x 8x x x y y 0 5. x 8x x x 0 In exercises 55 to 60, find the constant that must be added to each binomial to form a perfect-square trinomial. Let x be the variable; other letters represent constants. 55. x ax 56. x abx x ax 58. x abx a x ax 60. a x 4abx In exercises 61 and 6, solve each equation by completing the square. 61. x ax 4 6. x ax Solve the following applications. 6. The width of a rectangle is ft less than its length. If the area of the rectangle is 70 ft, what are the dimensions of the rectangle? The length of a rectangle is 5 cm more than its width. If the area of the rectangle is 84 cm, find the dimensions of the rectangle McGraw-Hill Companies 65. The length of a rectangle is cm more than times its width. If the area of the rectangle is 85 cm, find the dimensions of the rectangle. 66. If the length of a rectangle is ft less than twice its width and the area of the rectangle is 54 ft, what are the dimensions of the rectangle? 67. The length of a rectangle is 1 cm more than its width. If the length of the rectangle is doubled, the area of the rectangle is increased by 0 cm. What were the dimensions of the original rectangle? 689

12 ANSWERS A box is to be made from a rectangular piece of tin that is twice as long as it is wide. To accomplish this, a -cm square is cut from each corner, and the sides are folded up. The volume of the finished box is to be 5000 cm. Find the dimensions of the original piece of tin. Hint 1: To solve this equation, you will want to use the following sketch of the piece of tin. Note that the original dimensions are represented by x and x. Do you see why? Also recall that the volume of the resulting box will be the product of the length, width, and height. x 7. x x 0 x Hint : From this sketch, you can see that the equation that results from V LWH will be (x 0)(x 0) An open box is formed from a square piece of material by cutting -in. squares from each corner of the material and folding up the sides. If the volume of the box that is formed is 7 in., what was the size of the original piece of material? 70. An open carton is formed from a rectangular piece of cardboard that is 4 ft longer than it is wide, by removing 1-ft squares from each corner and folding up the sides. If the volume of the carton is then 1 ft, what were the dimensions of the original piece of cardboard? 71. A box that has a volume of 000 in. was made from a square piece of tin. The square piece cut from each corner had sides of length 4 in. What were the original dimensions of the square? 7. A square piece of cardboard is to be formed into a box. After 5-cm squares are cut from each corner and the sides are folded up, the resulting box will have a volume of 400 cm. Find the length of a side of the original piece of cardboard. 7. Why must the leading coefficient of the quadratic member be set equal to 1 before using the technique of completing the square? 74. What relationship exists between the solutions of a quadratic equation and the graph of a quadratic function? 001 McGraw-Hill Companies 690

13 ANSWERS In exercises 75 to 78, use your graphing utility to find the graph. For each graph, approximate the x intercepts to the nearest tenth. (You may have to adjust the viewing window to see both intercepts.) 75. y x 1x 76. y x 14x (a) (b) (c) 77. y x x y x 4x On your graphing calculator, view the graph of f(x) x 1. (a) What can you say about the x intercepts of the graph? (b) Determine the zeros of the function, using the square root method. (c) How does your answer to part (a) relate to your answer to part (b)? 80. Consider the following representation of completing the square : Suppose we wish to complete the square for x x. A square with dimensions x by x has area equal to x. x x x 001 McGraw-Hill Companies We divide the quantity x by and get 5x. If we extend the base x by 5 units, and draw the rectangle attached to the square, the rectangle s dimensions are 5 by x with an area of 5x. x x x 5x 5 691

14 ANSWERS 80. (a) (b) (c) 81. (a) (b) (c) Now we extend the height by 5 units, and draw another rectangle whose area is 5x. 5 5x x x 5x x 5 (a) What is the total area represented in the figure so far? (b) How much area must be added to the figure to complete the square? (c) Write the area of the completed square as a binomial squared. 81. Repeat the process described in exercise 80 with x 16x. Answers 1. 5, 1. 5, , , , , i a , i i 55. a 57. a a 4 a 6. Width 7 ft, length ft 65. Width 5 cm, length 17 cm 67. Width 5 cm, length 6 cm 69. in. by in in. or 0.4 in (6, 8) (1, 9) 79. (a) There are none; (b) i; (c) If the graph of f(x) has no x intercepts, the zeros of the function are not real. 81. (a) x 16x; (b) 64; (c) x 16x 64 (x 8) 001 McGraw-Hill Companies 69

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