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Chapter 7

Tools and Strategies for

Solving Exponential and
Logarithmic Equations
Do you like music? What about rock music?
Music has been around for thousands of years,
but rock music is a relatively new form that has
existed for only about half a century. The science
and mathematics behind the inner workings of
instruments, such as electric guitars, that rock
musicians play involve exponential and
logarithmic equations.

In this chapter, you will learn a variety of strategies

for solving exponential and logarithmic equations.
You will also apply modelling strategies to solve a variety of problems involving
data that can be modelled by exponential and other types of curves.

By the end of this chapter, you will

make connections between the laws of exponents solve exponential equations in one variable
and the laws of logarithms, verify the product and by determining a common base and by using
quotient laws of logarithms with or without logarithms, recognizing that logarithms
technology, and use the laws of logarithms to base 10 are commonly used (A3.2)
simplify and evaluate numerical expressions (A1.4) solve simple logarithmic equations in one
pose problems based on real-world applications variable algebraically (A3.3)
of exponential and logarithmic functions and solve problems involving exponential and
solve these and other such problems by using a logarithmic equations algebraically, including
given graph or a graph generated with technology problems arising from real-world applications (A3.4)
from a table of values or from its equation (A2.4) solve problems arising from real-world
recognize equivalent algebraic expressions applications by reasoning with functions (D3.3)
involving logarithms and exponents, and simplify
expressions of these types (A3.1)

Prerequisite Skills

Apply the Exponent Laws 4. Simplify. Identify the exponent laws that you
used. Express answers using positive exponents.
1. Simplify. Identify the exponent law that you used.
a) (x2)(x3)(x4) a) ___
b) (3a2b3)(2a3b)
b) (3km3)3(2k3m2)2
c) (xy3)(x3y2)
d) (2r)(3rs2) c) ___
e) (5q)(qr)
f) (vw)(w3)(v2) d) __
g) (2ab)(2b3)
Solve Quadratic Equations
2. Which exponent law would you use to simplify
each expression? Simplify. Express answers 5. Solve by factoring.
using positive exponents. a) x2  2x  24  0
a) _2 b) 2m2  9m  10
c) 4a2  12a  7  0
b) __ d) q2  q  20
48x4y2 e) 9b2  1
c) __
8xy f) 8y2  6y  1  0
2a2b3 g) x2  x  2
d) _
ab h) 2r2  5r  3
(5q)(qr) i) q2  5q  4  0
e) __
6. Solve by applying the quadratic formula.
f) ___ a) y2  6y  5  0
b) 4q2  2q  10
(2ab)(2b )
g) __ c) x2  x  1
d) 2a2  2a  10  0
3. Simplify, and identify the exponent law that
e) x2  x  7
you used.
f) r2  5r  3
a) (w2)4
g) 2m2  6m  3  0
b) (2uv3)2
h) 3a2  3a  4
c) (a2b)3
d) (x3y3)2
e) (2w2)3
The quadratic formula for the solutions of a quadratic equation in
f) (ab4)2
b  √ b2  4ac
g) r(s2)3 the form ax2  bx  c  0 is x  ___ .

362 MHR • Advanced Functions • Chapter 7

Simplify a Radical Expression 9. Evaluate, correct to three decimal places.
7. Simplify. a) log3 10
b) log _1 _
a) √
2 5
b) 2 √
20 c) log2 15

c) √18 d) log4 17
d) 3 √
18 e) log2 3
e) √
75 f) log3 8
4  √
f) __ g) log4 20
h) log2 19
2  √
g) __
2 10. Solve for t, correct to two decimal places.
a) 5t  4
Apply the Power Law of Logarithms
b) 1.22t  1.6
8. Evaluate, using the power law of logarithms.
c) 7t  2
a) log4 163
b) log2 √
32 ()
d) _1 3t  2
c) log3 272 e) 3t  2
d) log5 252 f) 8t  3
e) log2 322 g) 2t  9
f) log3 81 h) 23t  15
g) log4 162 11. Use algebraic reasoning to show that, if y  bx,
h) log2 0.25 log y
then x  _ .
log b


Have you ever wondered how electric guitars

work? When a note is struck, a coiled device
called a pick-up transforms the sound into
an electronic signal. This signal is then
boosted by an amplifier, which creates the
exciting sounds that music fans love!

In this chapter, you will apply techniques

for solving equations related to the music
of electric guitars.

Prerequisite Skills • MHR 363