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 April 25th, 2014, 08:56 PM #1 Senior Member   Joined: Feb 2014 From: Louisiana Posts: 156 Thanks: 6 Math Focus: algebra and the calculus Question on solving an inequality In the inequality: $\displaystyle \frac{(x + 3)(x - 1)}{x} \geq 0$ Why does the following manipulation lead to the wrong solution set? $\displaystyle \frac{(x + 3)(x - 1)}{x} \geq 0$ $\displaystyle (x + 3)(x - 1) \geq 0$ $\displaystyle x \leq -3, x \geq 1$ Apparently, the solution set is $\displaystyle -3 \leq x \leq 0, x\geq 1$. I don't understand how to get the correct solution. April 25th, 2014, 09:47 PM   #2
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Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mr Davis 97 In the inequality: $\displaystyle \frac{(x + 3)(x - 1)}{x} \geq 0$ Why does the following manipulation lead to the wrong solution set? $\displaystyle \frac{(x + 3)(x - 1)}{x} \geq 0$ $\displaystyle (x + 3)(x - 1) \geq 0$ $\displaystyle x \leq -3, x \geq 1$ Apparently, the solution set is $\displaystyle -3 \leq x \leq 0, x\geq 1$. I don't understand how to get the correct solution.
No!$\displaystyle x\neq 0$.Make the table of changes for $\displaystyle x+3$,for $\displaystyle x-1$ and for $\displaystyle x$...........
Solution:
$\displaystyle x\in [-3,0)\cup [+1,+\infty)$

Last edited by Dacu; April 25th, 2014 at 09:59 PM. April 25th, 2014, 09:48 PM #3 Math Team   Joined: Dec 2013 From: Colombia Posts: 7,700 Thanks: 2682 Math Focus: Mainly analysis and algebra The problem comes when you multiply by $x$. If $x<0$, then mutiplying by it will reverse the inequality. \begin{align*} \frac{(x + 3)(x - 1)}{x} &\geq 0 \\ (x + 3)(x - 1) &\leq 0 &\forall x \lt 0 \\ \end{align*} And $(u + 3)(u - 1) \leq 0 \Longrightarrow -3 \leq u \leq 1$, but since we are limited to $x \lt 0$, we have $-3 \leq x \lt 0$. Thanks from Mr Davis 97 April 26th, 2014, 05:43 AM #4 Senior Member   Joined: Apr 2014 From: Greater London, England, UK Posts: 320 Thanks: 156 Math Focus: Abstract algebra When solving inequalities, always be careful about multiplication and division. Adding and subtracting terms is always okay, but when you multiply or divide you have to make sure you’re only doing it with positive quantities so as to preserve the direction of the inequality. To find the solution set for $\displaystyle \frac{(x+3)(x-1)}x \geqslant 0$ one way is to divide the real line into into four intervals, $x < -3$, $-3 < x < 0$, $0 < x < 1$, $x > 1$, and see whether the factors are positive or negative (for the moment we’ll ignore the end points of the intervals): $$\begin{array}{c|c|c|c|c} & x+3 & x-1 & x & \frac{(x+3)(x-1)}x \\ \hline \\ x < -3 & \mathrm{-ve} & \mathrm{-ve} & \mathrm{-ve} & \mathrm{-ve} \\ \hline \\ -3 < x < 0 & \mathrm{+ve} & \mathrm{-ve} & \mathrm{-ve} & \mathrm{+ve} \\ \hline \\ 0 < x < 1 & \mathrm{+ve} & \mathrm{+ve} & \mathrm{-ve} & \mathrm{-ve} \\ \hline \\ x > 1 & \mathrm{+ve} & \mathrm{+ve} & \mathrm{+ve} & \mathrm{+ve} \end{array}$$ Finally we note that $\displaystyle \frac{(x+3)(x-1)}x = 0$ when $x=-3$ or $x=1$ so we can add these points. This gives the solution set as $[-3,\,0]\cup[1,\,\infty)$. Thanks from Mr Davis 97 Last edited by Olinguito; April 26th, 2014 at 06:27 AM. Tags inequality, question, solving Thread Tools Show Printable Version Email this Page Display Modes Linear Mode Switch to Hybrid Mode Switch to Threaded Mode Similar Threads Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post Vim Algebra 3 November 17th, 2012 05:46 PM skeletonjelly Algebra 5 October 4th, 2012 05:37 PM Lukas Algebra 3 March 16th, 2010 05:10 PM pico Algebra 4 November 24th, 2008 03:41 PM skeletonjelly Calculus 0 December 31st, 1969 04:00 PM

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