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Math Help - Factoring with exponents

  1. #1
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    Factoring with exponents

    Please help me factor the following:

    81y^4-w^4y^4

    Thanks in advance for your help.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Stroodle's Avatar
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    81y^4-w^4y^4

    y^4(81-w^4)

    y^4(9+w^2)(9-w^2)

    y^4(9+w^2)(3+w)(3-w)

    -y^4(w^2+9)(w+3)(w-3)
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  3. #3
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    Stroodle, many thanks for your quick response and help!
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroodle View Post
    81y^4-w^4y^4

    y^4(81-w^4)

    y^4(9+w^2)(9-w^2)

    y^4(9+w^2)(3+w)(3-w)

    -y^4(w^2+9)(w+3)(w-3)
    Stroodle,

    In trying to understand how this is factored, how did you get to the second step, please?

    y^4(81-w^4)

    Could you break that down and explain it a little further for me, please?

    Thank you in advance for your help.
    Last edited by dkpeppard; December 17th 2009 at 06:30 AM. Reason: updated equation referenced
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  5. #5
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    Anyone else is welcome to jump in to and explain as well.

    Thanks in advance.
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  6. #6
    Super Member bigwave's Avatar
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    (81-w^4)

    this is a difference of squares

     <br />
(9-w^2)(9+w^2)<br />
    if you FOIL this the middle terms will cancel out

     <br />
81 + w^2 -w^2-w^4 <br />
    leaving

     <br />
81-w^4<br />
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwave View Post
    (81-w^4)

    this is a difference of squares

     <br />
(9-w^2)(9+w^2)<br />
    if you FOIL this the middle terms will cancel out

     <br />
81 + w^2 -w^2-w^4 <br />
    leaving

     <br />
81-w^4<br />
    Thank you, Bigwave.
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