Multiplying a Fraction by a Variable
Date: 08/17/2006 at 20:36:29 From: Erin Subject: How do I find what s equals 1 How do I find the product of ---a ? 3
Date: 08/19/2006 at 11:43:58 From: Doctor Ian Subject: Re: How do I find what s equals Hi Erin, Suppose instead we have 1 -(6) 3 This is just 1/3 of 6 which we can find this way: 1 1 6 1*6 -(6) = - * - = --- 3 3 1 3 Does that make sense? I know that we could reduce the 1*6 to just 6, and reduce the 6/3 to 2, but let's NOT do that for a moment. Now, suppose we're in the same situation, but the 6 is smudged, so we can't see what it is. But we know it's _some_ number, and since it's a number, we can treat it the same we we treated 6. Let's use "s" to represent the smudged number--it's just a marker that we're using to keep track of it, so later if someone tells us what it was, we can replace the marker with the value. 1 1 s 1*s - s = - * - = --- 3 3 1 3 What if we had 2/5 of some smudged number? 2 2 s 2*s - s = - * - = --- 5 5 1 5 Or 23% of some number? The notation 23% just means 23/100, so we'd have 23 23 s 23*s --- s = --- * - = ---- 100 100 1 100 And this is all you can do, until you get more information about what the value of the variable is supposed to be. Does that make sense? - Doctor Ian, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
Date: 08/19/2006 at 14:32:41 From: Erin Subject: Thank you (How do I find what s equals) Hi thank you sooooo much it seems really easy now. Now when I turn in my homework to my math teacher all the answers will be right since now I know how to deal with those kind of fractions. Once again thank you!! I know where to go now if I ever need help in the future again.
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum