Q&A #9409

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Solving algebraic equations

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From: Brad 
To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2005062501:05:26
Subject: Re: Re:find formula for equation and answer

On 2005061602:01:04, John wrote:
>Turn the two fractions into one fraction and set numerator and
>denominator equal to each other.  Solve the system.  
>Like this  Given:  1/a +1/b = 37/180
>Multiply 1/a by "b" and 1/b by "a" yielding  
>               (a+b)/ ab =37/180
>Set numerator and denominators equal to each other:
>                a+b = 37   and  ab = 180  so,                        

>Substitute into other equation: b + (180/b) = 37  
>Multiplying by b and bringing everything to left 
>b^2 -37b + 180 = 0   
>Using quadratic formula:  b= (37 + sqr(649))/2 and
>                          a= 37-((37 + sqr(649))/2 
>The quad. almost factors so I wonder if there is an error in the
>fraction 37/180

What I would like to know is how did you get b^2 and is "sqr" a symbol
for square root of 649 or is it 649 squared?  What is the final answer
to this equation?  Are "a" and "b" even whole numbers, or are we
dealing with decimals here?

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