Saturday, 21 March 2009

Simple equations

I want to talk about simultaneous equations, but I had better save that for another blog as I need to talk about simple equations. Generally there is a piece of information missing in a simple equation that you need to complete. For example, you may have the equation 2+2=? I hope that you have the answer.

Now with algebra a letter is used for a missing number. If you have the equation 3x+4=10 then you may be able to guess that x=2, but you can't guess when the numbers are more complicated. You have to work out what to do.

3x+4=10. If you do the same thing to both sides of the equals sign then it is still equal. Add 2 to both sides and it is still equal. Add or take away or multiply or divide both sides with the same numbers and it is still equal. You want to know what x is, so take 4 from both sides and you have 3x=6. Divide both sides by 3 and you end up with x=2. It works for simple numbers and it works for complicated numbers too.

That sums it up

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