By roots I assume they mean "values of y". Since x is real there exist integers m and n such that x=n/m.
where and and a,b are both integers.
Therefore, y must be real.
Hiya. There's an example in a book that I can follow the algebra of, but I don't quite understand the reasoning of one of the steps. The underlined part is the one and only part I don't understand. It would be great if someone could explain it some more.
Here's what the book has:
Q: If x is real, find the possible values of the function:
A: Use
Since x is real, the roots of this equation are real, so
Then there's a bit of algebra to get: or
The algebra's fine and I get that if the roots are real, then , but I don't see why x being real means that that equation must have real roots.
If anyone could help me get some more understanding of this, intuitive or otherwise, it'd be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
I'm not sure but I think that would only be true if the statement was "Since x is rational...".
But x being real doesn't necessarily mean it can be represented by a fraction. Because x could be irrational at the same time as being real. If someone could confirm or deny that, it'd be appreciated. Thanks for the input either way, it's interesting to see people's approach to the problem. Would love to see more.
You have defined x to be a real number. To solve the quadratic equation, you will apply the Quadratic Formula. This will give you an expression for x (in terms of y).
Since x is defined as being real, then you cannot have a negative inside the square root in the Formula. Therefore the "b^2 - 4ac" part has to be non-negative.
Thanks that's good. Although I think it might have been a restatement of the part I had a problem with rather than quite explaining it, it might have helped me to specify my question better:
Why does x being real force the discriminant of to be positive?
The domain (x) has been real for all quadratic equations that I've dealt with so far, but I've found plenty of ones with no real roots. So why does this one have to have real roots, just because x is real?