# Determine 1-1 function

jwxie

 f(x) = x^3-2
 f(x) = x^4+2

f(a) = f(b)
a = b

## The Attempt at a Solution

Assuming that f(a) = f(b), for which some a =/ b

So for  f(x) = x^3-2, let assume a=/b, that f(a) = f(b)
in the end I got, a^3 = b^3

for , I did the same thing, and for f(x) = x^4+2, in the end I got a^4 = b^4

Now I need to simply them down to a = b, so I think I need to take cubic root on both side, and square root on both side, respectively.

Now why is  not a 1-1 function, while  is a 1-1 function?
When I solve for x, for example, in the same of y = x^2, i get sqrt of y = x, so it is not a 1-1 function.

What about x^3-2? I got cub root of y + 2 = x
Thanks

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Mentor

 f(x) = x^3-2
 f(x) = x^4+2

f(a) = f(b)
a = b

## The Attempt at a Solution

Assuming that f(a) = f(b), for which some a =/ b

So for  f(x) = x^3-2, let assume a=/b, that f(a) = f(b)
in the end I got, a^3 = b^3

for , I did the same thing, and for f(x) = x^4+2, in the end I got a^4 = b^4

Now I need to simply them down to a = b, so I think I need to take cubic root on both side, and square root on both side, respectively.
The first one is usually called the cube root. For the other you need a fourth root, not a square root.

You don't need the cube root and fourth root, though. In fact, it's best to not use them. For the first problem you have
a3 = b3 <==> a3 - b3 = 0.
The last equation can be factored to give three solutions, two of which are complex.

For the other problem, you have
a4 = b4 <==> a4 - b4 = 0.
This equation can be factored to give four solutions, two of which are complex.

You can ignore the complex solutions. Can you find the real solutions to these equations?

Now why is  not a 1-1 function, while  is a 1-1 function?
I mean sometime cubic root can have -1, -1, 1..

Thanks

jwxie
Hi, thanks.
a3 = b3 <==> a3 - b3 = 0.
The last equation can be factored to give three solutions, two of which are complex.

For the other problem, you have
a4 = b4 <==> a4 - b4 = 0.
This equation can be factored to give four solutions, two of which are complex.

What I do not understand is how can I tell
When I solve for x, for example, in the same of y = x^2, i get sqrt of y = x, so it is not a 1-1 function.

What about x^3-2? I got cub root of y + 2 = x

For your question, I didn't really think about those complex number (since I didn't even know there are complex numbers in those roots).
I guess, from your information, you just literally pointed out that  there is only one a (b), and  there is two a, b that can still produce 0 (the value of y).

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Mentor
Can you solve the equation a4 - b4 = 0 by factoring? This is the same as ((a2)2 - (b2)2 = 0.

Can you solve the equation a3 - b3 = 0 by factoring?

$(-1)^3\no 1^3$
$(-1)^4 = 1^5$