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A square root problem

  1. Mar 26, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    [tex]s=k\sqrt{\frac{1+m}{1-m}}[/tex] , solve for m

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Honestly I am stumped, but I do know there is a trick to it. I can't quite remember, but it might have something to do with taking the reciperical or the inverse...maybe the conjugate? Just need a little help getting started.

  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 26, 2009 #2


    Staff: Mentor

    Something that would be helpful is to divide both sides by k.
    The equation then becomes
    \frac{s}{k} = \sqrt{\frac{1 + m}{1 - m}}
    Now, what operation gets rid of square roots?
  4. Mar 26, 2009 #3
    Ok, got rid of the root by squaring. Now I have this. How can I isolate the m variable?

    [tex]\frac{s^{2}}{k^{2}} = \frac{1+m}{1-m}[/tex]
  5. Mar 26, 2009 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    Multiply both sides by k2, then multiply both sides by (1 - m). If you expand both sides, you should be able to rearrange things to get the terms with m on one side, and all the others on the other side.
  6. Mar 26, 2009 #5


    Staff: Mentor

    Something you said at the beginning deserves a comment:
    There are probably a few occasions where solving an equation requires some trick that you have to know, but most of the time it's done by plain old mathematical understanding.
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