Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Krys, a student:

How do I simplify completely?

((4+i ) / (3+i ))   -   ((2-i ) / (5-i ))

Hi Krys.

The important principle is to use the difference of squares principle to your advantage. The square of i is negative one, of course, so (a + bi)(a - bi) = a2 + b2. See how the imaginary part disappears?

Although I cannot solve your entire problem for you, I'll solve one that is identical in form to yours to show you how I use this principle.

Hope this helps,
Stephen La Rocque.

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