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Rational functions and link with direct substitution property

  • Thread starter alingy1
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  • #1
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Homework Statement


Hello,

I know the direct substitution property in calculus. But, the definition of a rational function still confuses me.

For example, are these rational functions:

y=(x^2+2x+1)/(x+1)

y=((x^2+2)^(1/2))/(x+1)

The denominator of the first one could cancel. So, is there still a ratio? Is it a rational function?

The second one has a root in the numerator. The exponents of are not integers. Is it still a rational function?

Please help me. I do not understand the definition.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
UltrafastPED
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Rational expression: ratio of two polynomials; since 1 is a polynomial of order zero, y=x+1 is also a rational expression, as is y=1/x ... as long as you exclude zeros in the denominator.

A rational function is just a function which can be written as a rational expression. Your second example is not a rational expression, so y is not a rational function.
 
  • #3
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Thank you for the fast reply.
But, what do you mean by rational expression? I do not quite get it.


What about if there was an absolute value in the function?

EDIT: I understand why the second one is not a rational expression! Thank you. I still have a doubt about absolute values.
 
Last edited:
  • #4
UltrafastPED
Science Advisor
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Rational expression: from ratio of expressions - in this case the individual expressions are always polynomials, so a rational expression is simply the ratio of two polynomials.

Your text may extend this to include absolute value of a ratio of polynomials, but that is not what is usually meant. But you always need to look at (and understand, and remember) the definition which is provided.
 

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