Rationalizing the DenominatorDate: 05/27/97 at 02:25:45 From: r.hassanali Subject: Algebra Why do we have to rationalize the denominator? For example: 1 sqrt(2) ------- = ------ sqrt(2) 2 Date: 06/02/97 at 17:42:35 From: Doctor Mike Subject: Re: algebra Hi, Think of it this way. To do the left one you must do: ____________ 1.4142136 / 1.000000 To do the right one you must do: ____________ 2. / 1.4142136 I leave it to you to decide which is more difficult. Historically, this is the reason. The nice thing is that you can get from the left to the right by multiplying by "one" in the special form: sqrt(2) 1 = --------- sqrt(2) Then you simplify. Pretty neat, eh? I hope this helps. -Doctor Mike, The Math Forum Check out our web site! http://mathforum.org/dr.math/ |
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