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Rewriting a math problem help

  1. Oct 3, 2006 #1
    I have to take [tex]\theta=\frac{360}{n}[/tex] and solve for n. I think I may have the first step, but then I get lost. Help!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2006 #2
    [tex] {n} = \frac{360}\theta\ [/tex]
     
  4. Oct 3, 2006 #3

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Keep in mind that under the Homework Forum guidelines, that we should not be solving problems for students, especially in a single step. It's better to be tutorial and help the student figure out the solution on their own. Like, you could have asked, "What can you multiply both sides of that equation by to give you n = something?"
     
  5. Oct 3, 2006 #4
    Yes, while I thank neophysique for the answer, I am still a bit confused on how to go about solving it. Do you multiply both [tex]\theta[/tex] and 360 by n and then divide both sides by [tex]\theta[/tex]?
     
  6. Oct 3, 2006 #5

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Yes, you multiply both sides by [tex]\frac{n}{\theta}[/tex] to give you what you want on the left hand side. After a while doing this kind of algebra, you'll see that a shortcut way to think about it is to exchange the numerator of one side (in this problem the numerator of the left) with the denominator of the other side (the right). You kind of visually do the exchange and then write it down without having to multiply both sides by the same factor. Make sense?
     
  7. Oct 3, 2006 #6
    Yes it does. Thank you! :smile:
     
  8. Oct 3, 2006 #7
    you try to isolate n on one side. you are basically trying to move theta
    to the right of the equal sign and n to the left. to move theta you
    have to divide both sides by theta so that the left side = 1. Then
    you move the n by multiplying both sides by n.

    I thought this was a joke so I gave what I thought a funny response
     
  9. Oct 3, 2006 #8

    berkeman

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    Yeah, there is a tremendous breadth of learning level here on PF. It took me a while to get used to fielding basic high school math questions as well, but it's important to look at the person's question and try to tailor your responses the best you can to be a useful tutor for them. I've also learned that we have PF posters from all over the world, so I have to restrain myself sometimes in commenting about their grammar in their posts. I'm sure that their English is better than my Japanese or French!

    Thanks for updating your post, neo, and welcome to the PF.
     
  10. Oct 3, 2006 #9
    Gee, I feel pretty stupid now....:uhh:
     
  11. Oct 3, 2006 #10

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Why? Keep on asking questions and keep on learning. There's plenty left to go! :biggrin:
     
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