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Intermediate Algebra

Exam 2 Material
Rational Expressions
Rational Expression
• A ratio of two polynomials where the denominator is
not zero (an “ugly fraction” with a variable in a
denominator)
• Example:
x2 − x − 2
x+3
• Will the value of the denominator ever be zero?
If x = - 3, then the denominator becomes 0, so we say
that – 3 is a restricted value of x
• What is the “domain” of the rational expression (all
acceptable values of the variable)?
Domain is the set of all real numbers except - 3.
Domain: {x | x ≠ -3}
Finding Restricted Values and
Domains of Rational Expressions

• Completely factor the denominator

• Make equations by setting each factor of
the denominator equal to zero
• Solve the equations to find restricted
values
• The domain will be all real numbers that
are not restricted
Example

Find the domain: 3x − 5

x2 − 4
• Factor the denominator:
(x – 2)(x + 2)
• Set each factor equal to zero and solve the equations:
x – 2 = 0 and x + 2 = 0
x=2 and x = -2 (Restricted Values)
• Domain:
{x | x ≠ -2, x ≠ 2}
Evaluating Rational Expressions
• To “evaluate” a rational expression means
to find its “value” when variables are
replaced by specific “unrestricted”
numbers inside parentheses
2x − 3
• Example: Evaluate 2 for x = -2
x + 2x − 3
2(− 2) − 3 −4−3 −7 7
= = =
(− 2) + 2( − 2) − 3
2
4−4−3 −3 3
Fundamental Principle of
Fractions
• If the numerator and denominator of a
fraction contain a common factor, that
factor may be divided out to reduce the
fraction to lowest terms:
1 1 1
ab b 12 2⋅ 2⋅3 2
= = =
1 ac c 18 12 ⋅13 ⋅ 3 3
When common factors are divided out, "1" is left in each place.
1
5 1
=
15 x x
Reducing Rational Expressions
to Lowest Terms
• Completely factor both numerator and
denominator
• Apply the fundamental principle of
fractions: divide out common factors
that are found in both the numerator and
the denominator
Example of Reducing Rational
Expressions to Lowest Terms
• Reduce to lowest terms: 3 x 3 + 24
3x + 6
• Factor top and bottom:
(
3 x3 + 8 )
3( x + 2 )
1 1
(
3( x + 2 ) x 2 − 2 x + 4 )
3( x + 2 )
1 1
• Divide out common factors to get:
x2 − 2x + 4
Example of Reducing Rational
Expressions to Lowest Terms
• Reduce to lowest terms: x −3
3− x
• Factor top and bottom: x −3 1( x − 3)
=
− x+3 − 1( x − 3)
1( x − 3)
=
− 1( x − 3)
1
• Divide out common factors to get:

−1
Equivalent Forms
of Rational Expressions
• All of the following are equivalent:
−p p p
= =−
q −q q
• In words this would say that a negative
factor in the numerator or denominator can
be moved, respectively, to a negative
factor in the denominator or numerator, or
can be moved to the front of the fraction,
or vice versa
Example of Using Equivalent
Forms of Rational Expressions
• Write equivalent forms of:
x−5 − ( x − 5) − x+5
− = =
x+2 x+2 x+2
x−5 x −5 x −5
− = =
x+2 − ( x + 2) −x−2
Homework Problems
• Section: 6.1
• Page: 401
• Problems: Odd: 3 – 9, 13 – 23, 27 – 63,
67 – 73

• MyMathLab Homework Assignment 6.1 for

practice
• MyMathLab Quiz 6.1 for grade
Multiplying Rational Expressions
(Same as Multiplying Fractions)
• Factor each numerator and denominator
• Divide out common factors
• Write answer (leave polynomials in factored
form)
• Example:
1 1 1
4 15 2 ⋅ 2 3⋅5 5
⋅ = ⋅ =
9 28 3⋅3 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 7 21
1 1 1
Example of Multiplying
Rational Expressions
3x 2 − 2 x − 8 3x + 2

3 x + 14 x + 8 3 x + 4
2

Completely factor each top and bottom:

1 1
( 3x + 4)( x − 2) ⋅ ( 3x + 2)
( 3x1+ 2)( x + 4) ( 3x + 4)
1
Divide out common factors:
( x − 2)
( x + 4)
Dividing Rational Expressions
(Same as Dividing Fractions)
• Invert the divisor and change problem to
multiplication
÷ = ⋅ =
b d b c bc

• Example:
2 3 2 4 8
÷ = ⋅ =
3 4 3 3 9
Example of Dividing
Rational Expressions
1 1 3
2y 8y + 4y
2 5 3
2y 2
27 2y 2
27
÷ = ⋅ 5 = ⋅ 3 2 =
9 27 9 8y + 4y 3
9 4 y 2 y +1 ( )
1 2 y

3
( )
2 y 2 y2 +1
Homework Problems
• Section: 6.2
• Page: 408
• Problems: Odd: 3 – 25, 29 – 61

• MyMathLab Homework Assignment 6.2 for

practice
• MyMathLab Quiz 6.2 for grade
Finding the Least Common
Denominator, LCD, of Rational
Expressions
• Completely factor each denominator
• Construct the LCD by writing down each
factor the maximum number of times it is
found in any denominator
Example of Finding the LCD
• Given three denominators, find the LCD:
3 x − 12
2
, 6 x − 12 , 4 x 2
− 16 x + 16
• Factor each denominator:
3 x 2 −12 = 3( x 2 − 4 ) = 3( x − 2 )( x + 2 )
6x −12 = 6( x − 2 ) = 2 ⋅ 3( x − 2)
4 x 2 − 16 x + 16 = 4( x − 4 x + 4 ) = 2 ⋅ 2( x − 2 )( x − 2 )
2

• Construct LCD by writing each factor the maximum

number of times it’s found in any denominator:
LCD = 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 3( x − 2 )( x − 2 )( x + 2 )
LCD = 12( x − 2 ) 2 ( x + 2 )
Equivalent Fractions
• The fundamental principle of fractions,
mentioned earlier, says:
ab b
=
ac c
• In words, this says that when numerator and
denominator of a fraction are multiplied by the
same factor, the result is equivalent to the
original fraction

2 6⋅2 12
= = .
3 6⋅3 18
Writing Equivalent Fractions
With Specified Denominator
• Given a fraction and a desired denominator for
an equivalent fraction that is a multiple of the
original denominator, write an equivalent fraction
by multiplying both the numerator and
denominator of the original fraction by all factors
original denominator
• To accomplish this goal, it is usually best to
completely factor both the original denominator
and the desired denominator
Example
Write an equivalent fraction to the given
fraction that has a denominator of 24:
Factor each denominator :
5 ? 6 = 2⋅3
=
6 24 24 = 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 2 ⋅ 3
5 2⋅ 2⋅5 20
= =
6 2⋅2⋅6 24
Example
Write an equivalent rational expression to
the given one that has a denominator of
2 y3 − 4 y2 + 2 y : Factor each denominator :

y+2 ? y 2 − y = y ( y − 1)
= 3
y − y 2 y − 4 y2 + 2 y
2 2 y 3 − 4 y 2 + 2 y = 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)
y+2
=
y+2
=
( y + 2 ) 2( y − 1)
=
(
2 y2 + y − 2
=
)
y − y y ( y − 1)
2
y ( y − 1) 2( y − 1) y ( y − 1) 2( y − 1)
2 y2 + 2 y − 4
2 y3 − 4 y2 + 2 y
Homework Problems
• Section: 6.3
• Page: 414
• Problems: Odd: 5 – 43, 51 – 69

• MyMathLab Homework Assignment 6.3 for

practice
• MyMathLab Quiz 6.3 for grade
Expressions (Same as Fractions)
• Find a least common denominator, LCD,
for the rational expressions
• Write each fraction as an equivalent
fraction having the LCD
subtracting numerators as indicated,
and keeping the LCD
• If possible, reduce the answer to lowest
terms
Example
y+2 3y 1 y+2 3y 1
− 2 + = − +
y − y 2y − 4y + 2 y y ( y − 1) 2( y − 1)( y − 1) y
2

y ( y − 1)
• Find a least common denominator, LCD, for the rational expressions:
LCD =
2( y − 1)( y − 1)
2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)
y

2( y + 2 )( y − 1) 2 ⋅1( y − 1)( y − 1)
Write each fraction as an equivalent fraction having the LCD:
3y ⋅ y
− +
2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1) 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1) 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)
• Write the answer by adding or subtracting numerators as indicated, and keeping the

=
(
LCD:2
)2 2
(
2 y + y − 2 − 3y + 2 y − 2 y +1
=
2
)
2 y + 2 y − 4 − 3y + 2 y − 4 y + 2
2 2
=
2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1) 2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)
• If possible, reduce the answer to lowest terms
y2 − 2 y − 2
Since top won' t factor, fraction won' t reduce!
2 y ( y − 1)( y − 1)
Homework Problems
• Section: 6.4
• Page: 422
• Problems: Odd: 9 – 21, 25 – 47,
51 – 71

• MyMathLab Homework Assignment 6.4 for

practice
• MyMathLab Quiz 6.4 for grade
Complex Fraction
• A “fraction” that contains a rational expression
in its numerator, or in its denominator, or both
• Example: 1
+2
3x
5
6y

• Think of it as “fractions inside of a fraction”

• Every complex fraction can be simplified to a
rational expression (ratio of two polynomials)
Two Methods for Simplifying
Complex Fractions
• Method One
– Do math on top to get a single fraction
– Do math on bottom to get a single fraction
– Divide top fraction by bottom fraction
• Method Two (Usually preferred)
– Find the LCD of all of the “little fractions”
– Multiply the complex fraction by “1” where “1”
is the LCD of the little fractions over itself
Method One Example of
Simplifying a Complex Fraction
1
+2
3x
5
6y
• Do math on top to get single fraction:
1 1 2 1 6x 1+ 6 x
+2= + = + =
3x 3x 1 3x 3x 3x
• Do math on bottom to get single fraction:
5
In this case, bottom is already single fraction :
6y
• Top fraction divided by bottom:
2
1+ 6x 5 1+ 6x 6 y 2 y + 12 xy
÷ = ⋅ =
3x 6y 3x 5 5x
Method Two Example of
Simplifying a Complex Fraction
1
+2
3x
5
6y
• Find the LCD of all of the “little fractions”:
6 xy
• Multiply the complex fraction by “1” where “1” is the LCD
of the little fractions over itself
 1  6 xy 6 xy 12 xy
 + 2  +
=
3x  1 3x 1 = 2 y + 12 xy
⋅ =
 5  6 xy 30 xy 5x
 
 6y  1 6y
Homework Problems
• Section: 6.5
• Page: 431
• Problems: Odd: 7 – 35

• MyMathLab Homework Assignment 6.5 for

practice
• MyMathLab Quiz 6.5 for grade
Other Types of Equations
• Thus far techniques have been discussed
for solving all linear and some quadratic
equations
• Now address techniques for identifying
and solving “rational equations”
Rational Equations
• Technical Definition: An equation that
contains a rational expression
• Practical Definition: An equation that has
a variable in a denominator
• Example:
1 5 2
= −
x + 2x − 3 x −1 x + 3
2
Solving Rational Equations
• Find “restricted values” for the equation by
setting every denominator that contains a
variable equal to zero and solving
• Find the LCD of all the fractions and multiply
both sides of equation by the LCD to eliminate
fractions
• Solve the resulting equation to find apparent
solutions
• Solutions are all apparent solutions that are
not restricted
Example
RV
1 5 2 x + 2x − 3 = 0
2

= − ( x − 1)( x + 3) = 0
x + 2x − 3 x −1 x + 3
2
x − 1 = 0 OR x + 3 = 0
1 5 2 x =1 x = −3
= −
( x − 1)( x + 3) x − 1 x + 3 x − 1 = 0 Already Solved
x + 3 = 0 Already Solved
 1 5 2  LCD LCD
 ( x − 1)( x + 3) = x − 1 − x + 3  1 ( x − 1)( x + 3)
 
1 = 5( x + 3) − 2( x − 1) − 16 = 3 x
1 = 5 x + 15 − 2 x + 2 16
x=− Not RV!
1 = 3 x + 17 3
Example
RV
2 1 1 m −1 = 0
2

− = ( m − 1)( m + 1) = 0
m −1 2 m −1
2
m − 1 = 0 OR m + 1 = 0
2 1 1 m =1 m = −1
− =
( m − 1)( m + 1) 2 m − 1 m − 1 = 0 Already Solved

 2 1 1  LCD LCD
− =
 ( m − 1)( m + 1) 2 m − 1 1 2( m − 1)( m + 1)
 
4 − ( m − 1)( m + 1) = 2( m + 1) 0 = ( m − 3)( m + 1)
4 − ( m 2 − 1) = 2m + 2 m − 3 = 0 or m + 1 = 0
4 − m + 1 = 2m + 2
2
m = 3 or m = −1
0 = m + 2m − 3
2
Formula
• Any equation containing more than one
variable
• To solve a formula for a specific variable
we must use appropriate techniques to
isolate that variable on one side of the
equal sign
• The technique we use in solving depends
on the type of equation for the variable for
which we are solving
Example of Different Types of
Equations for the Same Formula
2
• Consider the formula: A + 3 = 4 B
C −1
• What type of equation for A?
Linear (variable to first power)
• What type of equation for B?
• What type of equation for C?
Rational (variable in denominator)
Solving Formulas Involving
Rational Equations
• Use the steps previously discussed for solving
rational equations:
• Find “restricted values” for the equation by setting
every denominator that contains the variable
being solved for equal to zero and solving
• Find the LCD of all the fractions and multiply both
sides of equation by the LCD to eliminate fractions
• Solve the resulting equation to find apparent
solutions
• Solutions are all apparent solutions that are not
restricted
Solve the Formula for C:
4B 2
A+3 =
C −1
Since the formula is rational for C, find RV:
C −1 = 0 C =1
Multiply both sides by LCD: ( C − 1)
2
4B
( C −1)( A + 3) = ( C −1)
( C −1)
AC + 3C − A − 3 = 4 B 2
Example Continued
Solve resulting equation and check
AC + 3C − A − 3 = 4 B 2
( Now linear for C )
AC + 3C = 4 B 2 + A + 3
( A + 3) C = 4 B + A + 3
2

( A + 3) C = 4 B 2 + A + 3
( A + 3) ( A + 3)
4B 2 + A + 3
C= Not RV
A+3
Homework Problems
• Section: 6.6
• Page: 439
• Problems: Odd: 17 – 69, 73 – 87

• MyMathLab Homework Assignment 6.6 for

practice
• ( No MyMathLab Quiz until we finish
Section 6.7 )
Applications of Rational
Expressions
• Word problems that translate to rational
expressions are handled the same as all
other word problems
• On the next slide we give an example of
such a problem
Example
When three more than a number is divided by
twice the number, the result is the same as the
original number. Find all numbers that satisfy
these conditions. RV :
Unknowns : 0 = 2x2 − x − 3 2x = 0
The number x 0 = ( 2 x − 3)( x + 1) x=0
x+3 2 x − 3 = 0 or x + 1 = 0
=x
2x
 x +3 2 x = 3 or x = −1
2 x  = 2 x( x )
 2x  3
x = or x = −1 .
2
x + 3 = 2x2
Homework Problems
• Section: 6.7
• Page: 449
• Problems: Odd: 3 –9

• MyMathLab Homework Assignment 6.7 for

practice
• MyMathLab Quiz 6.6 - 6.7 for grade