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Math Help - Factor an Equation HELP

  1. #1
    Newbie sy416's Avatar
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    Talking Factor an Equation HELP

    I have several that look like this that I need to factor. I just need to a walk-through of this please! Where do I start?

    9y2 - 4x2 - 4x - 1
    Last edited by sy416; January 12th 2013 at 03:45 PM.
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  2. #2
    Forum Admin topsquark's Avatar
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    Re: Factor an Equation HELP

    Quote Originally Posted by sy416 View Post
    I have several that look like this that I need to factor. I just need to a walk-through of this please! Where do I start?

    9y2 - 4x2 - 4x - 1
    First take a look at the x terms. You pretty much have to recognize -4x^2 - 4x - 1 = -(2x + 1)^2. I can't think of any way to know how to do this aside from experience. (I first noted that 9y^2 is a perfect square. Start these by looking for something like that.) So your problem becomes:
    9y^2 - 4x^2 - 4x - 1 = 9y^2 - (2x + 1)^2

    Look at the RHS. It is the difference of two squares. What can you do with that?

    -Dan
    Last edited by topsquark; January 12th 2013 at 03:33 PM. Reason: Can't tell left from right
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  3. #3
    Newbie sy416's Avatar
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    Re: Factor an Equation HELP

    Thanks!
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