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Math Help - complete the square

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Joined
    Mar 2008
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    Perth
    Posts
    26

    complete the square

    x^2+y^2=2ay

    please explain step by step.
    Thanks
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  2. #2
    Super Member
    Joined
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    792
    What you can do is take the 2ay to the other side and add a^2 to both sides:

    x^2 + y^2 - 2ay + a^2 = a^2

    The reason we do this is because a perfect square has coefficients of 1-2-1, so we take the coefficient of the second leading y term and divide it by 2, then square it and add/subtract it to complete the square.

    x^2 + (y-a)^2 = a^2

    Which looks like a circle to me.
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