# How do I find the sum and product of the roots of this equation?

• Sep 1st 2007, 01:05 AM
deathtolife04
How do I find the sum and product of the roots of this equation?
How do I find the sum and product of the roots of this equation?

The equation is $7x^2-4x+2=0$.
• Sep 1st 2007, 01:16 AM
topsquark
Quote:

Originally Posted by deathtolife04
How do I find the sum and product of the roots of this equation?

The equation is $7x^2-4x+2=0$.

Well, the direct way is to solve the equation and find the sum and the product!

To show how to do this without actually solving:
$x_{\pm} = \frac{-b \pm \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a}$

So
$x_{+} + x_{-} = \frac{-b + \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a} + \frac{-b - \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a} = \frac{-b}{2a} + \frac{-b}{2a} = -\frac{b}{a}$

and
$x_{+} \cdot x_{-} = \left ( \frac{-b + \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a} \right ) \left ( \frac{-b - \sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a} \right )$

Recall that $(p + q)(p - q) = p^2 - q^2$, so
$x_{+} \cdot x_{-} = \left ( \frac{-b}{2a} \right ) ^2 - \left ( \frac{\sqrt{b^2 - 4ac}}{2a} \right ) ^2$

$x_{+} \cdot x_{-} = \frac{b^2}{4a^2} - \frac{b^2 - 4ac}{4a^2} = \frac{c}{a}$

-Dan
• Sep 1st 2007, 01:22 AM
earboth
Quote:

Originally Posted by deathtolife04
How do I find the sum and product of the roots of this equation?

The equation is $7x^2-4x+2=0$.

Hello,

you can use the theorem of Vieta(?) (that's the name I know for this theorem)

if you have a quadratic equation:

$ax^2+bx+c=0~\Longrightarrow~x^2+\frac{b}{a}x+\frac {c}{a}=0$ with the solutions $x_1 \text{ and } x_2$ then the theorem says:

$x_1 \cdot x_2 = \frac{c}{a}$ and

$x_1 + x_2 = -\frac{b}{a}$