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Topic: Purpose of deriving the Quadratic Formula
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john_bookman@hotmail.com

Posts: 4
Registered: 8/1/07
Purpose of deriving the Quadratic Formula
Posted: Aug 1, 2007 12:04 PM
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I see how to derive the quadratic formula, but I have what I believeis
a historical question: I've read about how Babylonianmathematicians
used the method of completing the square to solvequadratic equations
with positive roots, but did not have a generalformula, and having the
formula would have helped them. But what were they trying to do in the
first place, that left themwith quadratic equations in their laps to
begin with? Measuring land area?

The same with cubic equations that the Greeks, Arabs, and Chinese
weretrying to solve centuries later. What was the physical problem
thatplopped these equations into their laps to begin with?



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