# Absolute Value Equations

• Sep 3rd 2011, 08:57 AM
Bashyboy
Absolute Value Equations
How, when you are given an absolute value equation, solve it graphically on a real-number line?
• Sep 3rd 2011, 09:04 AM
Prove It
Re: Absolute Value Equations
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bashyboy
How, when you are given an absolute value equation, solve it graphically on a real-number line?

You should know that the absolute value corresponds to the "size" of a number...

So say |x| = 3. That means that the size of the number is 3 units from 0. Therefore x = -3 or x = 3. Does that make sense?
• Sep 3rd 2011, 09:23 AM
Bashyboy
Re: Absolute Value Equations
Yes, it does. But I become a bit more confounded with a problem like |x - 3| = 5. How would I solve one like this on a real number-line?
• Sep 3rd 2011, 09:38 AM
Prove It
Re: Absolute Value Equations
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bashyboy
Yes, it does. But I become a bit more confounded with a problem like |x - 3| = 5. How would I solve one like this on a real number-line?

Well that means that the size of x - 3 is 5 units from 0.

So $\displaystyle \displaystyle x - 3 = -5 \implies x = -2$ or $\displaystyle \displaystyle x - 3 = 5 \implies x = 8$.
• Sep 5th 2011, 10:46 AM
Bashyboy
Re: Absolute Value Equations
I have another problem. I am given a real number line with the two points -3 an 1 marked on it. How do I write an absolute value equations from this data?
• Sep 5th 2011, 10:58 AM
Plato
Re: Absolute Value Equations
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bashyboy
I have another problem. I am given a real number line with the two points -3 an 1 marked on it. How do I write an absolute value equations from this data?

If $\displaystyle a<b$ then the equation $\displaystyle \left| {x - \frac{{b + a}}{2}} \right| = \frac{{b - a}}{2}$ has solutions $\displaystyle x=a\text{ or }x=b$.
• Sep 5th 2011, 11:05 AM
Bashyboy
Re: Absolute Value Equations
I am truly sorry, but I don't quite follow. I have not seen anything like this before.
• Sep 5th 2011, 11:08 AM
Plato
Re: Absolute Value Equations
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bashyboy
I am truly sorry, but I don't quite follow. I have not seen anything like this before.

Are you saying that you cannot substitute $\displaystyle a=-3~\&~b=1$ into that?
• Sep 5th 2011, 11:10 AM
Bashyboy
Re: Absolute Value Equations
No, plugging and chugging is quite simple. But I have never seen that formula you have presented me with. Also, the way the book wants me to solve it is just graphically.