Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Joe, a parent:

w+3    2w
----- - ----- = 1
w2-1   w-1

W2 is = w squared

The answer is w= ------

but have no idea how this was solved. any help is appreciated. Thanks.

Hi Joe,

Since w2 - 1 = (w - 1)(w + 1) if you multiply the numerator and denominator of the second equation by (w + 1) the two fractions will have the same denominator. Do this and then multiply both sides of the equation by w2 - 1 to yield a quadratic equation you can solve for w. Check to see if the solutions to the quadratic are actually solutions to the original equation.


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