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May 7th, 2011, 04:17 AM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2009 Posts: 106 Thanks: 0  [Solved] Simplification question
Hi, what happened to the square root of a? How did it disappear? & suddenly appear on the left side? 
May 7th, 2011, 04:30 AM  #2 
Senior Member Joined: Feb 2009 From: Adelaide, Australia Posts: 1,519 Thanks: 3  Re: Simplification question
Use the rule and factorise the denominator. 
May 7th, 2011, 04:59 AM  #3 
Senior Member Joined: Sep 2009 Posts: 106 Thanks: 0  Re: Simplification question
a square + a square = a, who would have thought. Thank you. 
May 8th, 2011, 02:43 PM  #4 
Global Moderator Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 20,927 Thanks: 2205 
Do you know that a and b are positive?

May 8th, 2011, 06:11 PM  #5 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2009 From: Northwest Arkansas Posts: 2,766 Thanks: 4  Re: [Solved] Simplification question
Are we even sure that a and b aren't just letters????????????????????????????????? 
May 8th, 2011, 08:02 PM  #6 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2007 Posts: 2,140 Thanks: 0 
? and ? are always useful.

May 8th, 2011, 08:13 PM  #7 
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2010 From: St. Augustine, FL., U.S.A.'s oldest city Posts: 12,211 Thanks: 521 Math Focus: Calculus/ODEs  Re: [Solved] Simplification question
I once had a student I was tutoring be totally flabbergasted by the use of letters as variables. She said numbers she understood, but the letters threw her off. So I began putting smiley faces and hearts in the equations (to demonstrate that any symbols can be used to represent the unknowns), and it was like a light went on in her head! 
May 8th, 2011, 08:26 PM  #8 
Senior Member Joined: Jun 2010 Posts: 618 Thanks: 0  Re: [Solved] Simplification question
I, too, would be intimidated having Ed Witten as a tutor. Ormkärr 
May 8th, 2011, 08:47 PM  #9 
Senior Member Joined: Jul 2010 From: St. Augustine, FL., U.S.A.'s oldest city Posts: 12,211 Thanks: 521 Math Focus: Calculus/ODEs  Re: [Solved] Simplification question The only things I have in common with Dr. Witten are glasses and a receding hairline. Several centuries ago you would probably have to have been the child of a king to get tutored by someone of his talents. :P 
May 8th, 2011, 09:32 PM  #10 
Senior Member Joined: Jun 2010 Posts: 618 Thanks: 0  Re: [Solved] Simplification question
I'd like to think Dr. Witten still manages to tutor a student or two... by looking unblinkingly into her eyes, until she understands. Ormkärr 

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