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Math Help - Simplify Expression

  1. #1
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    Simplify Expression

    Hi guys!
    I need help with the simplification of:

    (b^2 + 7b +12)/ (b^2 -9)

    Any idea how to simplify further?
    Last edited by mr fantastic; September 21st 2010 at 01:35 AM. Reason: For some reason, many people do not think that using brackets is important in ensuring that expressions are not ambiguous.
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  2. #2
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    \frac{b^2 + 7b +12}{ b^2 -9}=\frac{b^2+3b+4b+12}{(b+3)(b-3)}=\frac{b(b+3)+4(b+3)}{(b+3)(b-3)}=\frac{(b+3)(b+4)}{(b+3)(b-3)}=\frac{b+4}{b-3}
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  3. #3
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    Factorize both the numerator and denominator.
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  4. #4
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    x^2- 9 as a fairly obvious factorization. You will be able to simplify (cancel) only if the numerator has a common factor with the denominator. And that will be true only if the same number makes both numerator and denominator 0. Clearly no positive number makes the numerator 0, so ...
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