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Simplifying surds as numerators

  1. Sep 29, 2011 #1

    I was reading about surds and saw this:

    [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!

    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 29, 2011 #2
    Nothing wrong with either form of the expression.
    Usually we eliminate roots from denominators.
    Numerators with roots are fine.
  4. Sep 29, 2011 #3
    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
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