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# 6 -1 Roots and Radical

Expressions
Kiran Satyavarapu
Algebra II
Coolidge High School

Objective
To find the nth root of a Polynomial

Essential Understanding

52 = 25
53 = 125
54 = 625
55 = 3125

## This pattern suggests that there is an n th root

Definition of n Root
th

## For any real numbers a and b

and any positive integers n,
if an = b,
then a is the nth root of b.
** For a square root the value of n is 2.

Notation
index

81

## Note: An index of 2 is understood but not

written in a square root sign.

Simplify

81

## To simplify means to find x

in the equation:
4
x = 81
Solution:

81= 3

Principal Root
The nonnegative root of a number

64

## Principal square root

64

Opposite of principal
square root
Both square roots

64

Summary of Roots

even
odd

one + root
one - root
one + root
no - roots

no real
roots
no + roots
one - root

one real
root, 0

Finding Roots
3-8
0.04
4(-1)
(-2)2

Find the real-number roots for the following
3-27
4-81
(-7)2

-49

16x8

3a6b9

4x8y12

81x4

3a12b15

4x12y16

## How to find the root (other than a square

root), using a graphing calculator
1. Input the root you are going to
take (for example, if you are
taking the third root of a
2. Press MATH and select option
5 x
3. Enter the value you are taking
the root of.
Ex: 4 81 4 MATH 5 81 ENTER
3

## Practice: Find each root

3

10648

16807

16

Solutions: 22,
7, and
ERR:
NONREAL
ANS
Lets take a closer

## Properties and Notation:

n

aa

When n is an even
number

Why? We want to
make sure that the
root is always positive
when the index is an
even number

## Here' s another way to look at it :

IF x 5, x 2 52 25 5 x
BUT if x 5, x 2 (5) 2 25 5 x
so we want to make sure that x is always a positive
with even indexes so that it is true backwards
and forwards. We use the absolute value to make sure it
stays positive.

ex :
4

16 x y (2) x ( y ) 2 x y
4

2 4

## Note: Absolute value symbols ensure that the

root is positive when x is negative. They are not
needed for y because y2 is never negative.

ex :
Notice
that the
index is
an odd
number
here . . .

x y x (y ) x y
3

2 3

## Absolute value symbols must not be used here.

If x is negative, then the radicand is negative
and the root must also be negative.

## Lets try some

Simplify each expression. Use the absolute value symbols when needed.

4x y

27 x y
6

Solutions
Simplify each expression. Use the absolute value symbols when needed.

4x y

27 x y
6

## Properties of Exponents lets review . . .

NEGATIVE EXPONENT
RULE

5
a

1
2
5

1
n
a

PRODUCT OR POWER
RULE

2 2
10

20

a a a
m

30

m n

## HAVE TO HAVE THE

SAME BASE

QUOTIENT OF POWER
RULE
10

3
6

3
4
3
a

x
a b

x
b
x

## HAVE TO HAVE THE

SAME BASE

POWER OF POWER
RULE

(x4)

43

(a ) a
m n

x
mn

12

POWER OF PRODUCT
RULE

(2x4) 2 x
5

45

32x

(ab ) a b
m n

n mn

20

POWER OF A QUOTIENT
RULE

3
3I
F

G
J
Hy K y
5

5
5

aI a
F

G
J
Hb K b
n

n
n

POWER OF QUOTIENT 2
RULE

3

y

3
2
y
2

x

y

y
y

2
9
3
2

y
a
x
a

Fractional Exponents
(Powers and Roots)
Power

x
y

a a ( a )
Root

RULE

1/ 2

25
1/ 2

25

a a

1/ n

5
a
n

RATIONAL EXPONENT
RULE

16

3
4

m
n

16

a a
n

a
n

8
m