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Math Help - Finding which graph represents the roots of an equation

  1. #1
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    Finding which graph represents the roots of an equation

    Please explain thoroughly how to solve this! I do not understand how to do this.

    42 Which graph best represents an equation that has the roots x= -7/2 and x=1/2?

    F

    G

    H

    J
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  2. #2
    A Plied Mathematician
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    So, in order to solve this, you have to understand what a root is. You tell me: what is a root?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ackbeet View Post
    So, in order to solve this, you have to understand what a root is. You tell me: what is a root?
    My understanding of a root was that it was a number or fraction that when plugged in for something like x or y, would satisfy the equation such as y=mx+b right?
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  4. #4
    A Plied Mathematician
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    Right. In this context, the equation that must be satisfied is y=f(x)=0. What does this look like on a graph?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ackbeet View Post
    Right. In this context, the equation that must be satisfied is y=f(x)=0. What does this look like on a graph?
    Wait, what does y=f(x)=0. look like on a graph, or what do the roots x= -7/2 and x=1/2. If you mean the former, doesn't a function usually appear as a parabola, like in the answers above?
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  6. #6
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    Let's say you have a function, call it y=f(x). This is any ol' function, not necessarily a parabola. Could be a straight line, could be a parabola, could be a sine wave, etc. Let's say it has a "root" at x=3. Graphically, what is happening to f(x) at x=3?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ackbeet View Post
    Let's say you have a function, call it y=f(x). This is any ol' function, not necessarily a parabola. Could be a straight line, could be a parabola, could be a sine wave, etc. Let's say it has a "root" at x=3. Graphically, what is happening to f(x) at x=3?
    To be honest, I'm teaching myself about all this function stuff, so please be patient with me. :P
    Graphically, that means a line would be going straight through (3,0) if I understand the question correctly.
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  8. #8
    A Plied Mathematician
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    Correct! Or, well, you can say that the function goes through that point. It might not be going straight through that point.

    So, going through the point (3,0) means that it is hitting an axis: is it the x or the y axis?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ackbeet View Post
    Correct! Or, well, you can say that the function goes through that point. It might not be going straight through that point.

    So, going through the point (3,0) means that it is hitting an axis: is it the x or the y axis?
    X obviously.
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  10. #10
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    Right. So, of the answers F, G, H, and J in the OP, which function hits the x axis at the points x = -7/2 and x = 1/2?
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