Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Stuart, a student:

Solve the following quadratic equation: 3xsquared-5x-4=0

Hi Stuart.

There is a special formula called the Quadratic Formula which every student should memorize:

To use this formula, you need to determine the values of a, b and c by putting your equation in the form:

(which yours already is). So for you, a = 3, b = -5 and c = -4. Put these values into the Quadratic Formula and you will find your solution(s).

Note: when you use the quadratic formula (which you can always use in place of factoring if you like), you usually find two solutions because of the ± in there. But if the value of b2 - 4ac is zero, you get only one solution and if the value of b2 - 4ac is negative, then there is no real solution at all.

Hope this helps,
Stephen La Rocque.

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