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Algebra: factor problem.

  1. Aug 9, 2011 #1
    Is this term factorable?

    9a^2 - 6a + 1 -x^2 - 8dx - 16d^2

    I dont see anything that I can group or any simple factors to factor out...
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2011 #2

    PeterO

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    Group the first 3 and the second 3 with careful management of - signs
     
  4. Aug 9, 2011 #3
    9a^2 - 6a + 1 - (x^2 + 8dx + 16d^2)

    = (3a - 1)^2 - (x + 4d)^2

    = (3a - 1 + x + 4d)(3a - 1 - x - 4d)

    How do you know what the roots are?
     
  5. Aug 9, 2011 #4

    PeterO

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    Not exactly sure what roots you are after? Expressions have factors - you have done that. Equations have roots - you don't have an equation???

    EDIT: The following post spilled the beans about what I was trying to get you to think about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  6. Aug 9, 2011 #5
    If it were a function in x where a and d are unknown constants, you could set the factored expression equal to 0, solve for x, and express the roots in terms of a and d.
     
  7. Aug 9, 2011 #6
    thank you for your guys help.
     
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