Simplifying surds as numerators

1. Sep 29, 2011

MattVonFat

Hi,

[PLAIN]http://www.mattvonfat.com/eq.png [Broken]

I'm probably not as familiar with simplifying fractions as I should be but I think I get that it's being split in to two fractions and that √3/2 is the same as 1/2*√3 but I don't understand what's actually being done to √3/2 to simplify it and why the original expression isn't left as it is.

Any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Matt

Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
2. Sep 29, 2011

paulfr

Nothing wrong with either form of the expression.
Usually we eliminate roots from denominators.
Numerators with roots are fine.

3. Sep 29, 2011

cone

it might help to think of it like this:

2/3 - 1/3 = (2-1)/3

So reverse would be the same:

(2-1)/3 = 2/3 - 1/3

if 3 were negative, then the negatives would evaluate:

(2-1)/-3 = 2/-3 - 1/-3 = -2/3 - (-1/3) = -2/3 + 1/3