Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Jonathon, a student:

I don't remember how to solve an equation in the form of the following:

(9x^2-4)/(3x^2-5x+2) * (9x^4 - 6x^3 +4x^2)/(27x^4+8x) =

Hi Jonathan.

You solve it by factoring each of the expressions and cancelling common factors.

For example, 9x2 - 4 factors into (3x - 2)(3x+2). Also, 27x4 + 8x factors into (x)(27x3 + 8) which contains a sum of cubes, so that factors further into (x)(3x+2)(9x2 - 6x + 4).

Hope this helps,
Stephen La Rocque.

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