# Solving a Physics Problem: Struggling with Algebra

• GreenPrint
In summary, the conversation is about a physics problem involving solving for X. The person is having trouble with the algebra part and has simplified the problem by assigning letters to the numbers involved. They then explain the steps to solve the problem, including getting rid of fractions and using the quadratic formula.
GreenPrint

## Homework Statement

Ok this was a physics problem...

I'm having a hard time with the algebra part

## Homework Equations

solve for X

7.35E22/(3.84403E8 - X)^2 = 5.98E24/X^2

## The Attempt at a Solution

i have got down to this and I think it is right but it might be wrong

0 = (7.35E22 X^2)/5.98E24 - X^2 + 2(3.84403E8)X - (3.84403E8)^2

Rather than dealing with all those long and annoying numbers, let's assign letters to stand for them, and we can substitute back after all the algebra is done.

Let:
$$A=7.35x10^{22}$$
$$B=3.84403x10^8$$
$$C=5.98x10^{24}$$

So now we have $$\frac{A}{(B-X)^2}=\frac{C}{X^2}$$

You want to get rid of the fractions, so you need to multiply by the higher common factor, which is $X^2(B-X)^2$

Then you'll get $$AX^2=C(B-X)^2$$

Now you need to expand, move everything to one side and let the equation = 0 and collect like terms. You should get it in the form $mx^2+nx+p=0$ where m, n and p are all some constant, and x is the variable that you're trying to solve.

Now you can apply the quadratic formula.

I understand that solving physics problems can be challenging, especially when it involves algebra. It is important to remember that algebra is a fundamental tool in physics and mastering it will greatly benefit your problem-solving skills. In this particular problem, I can see that you have made progress and are on the right track. However, I would suggest double-checking your calculations and equations to ensure accuracy. It may also be helpful to break down the problem into smaller steps and use the given equations and variables to guide your solution. Don't be discouraged if it takes some time to solve, as practice and persistence are key in mastering any subject. Keep up the good work and don't hesitate to seek help from a teacher or peer if needed.

## 1. How do I begin solving a physics problem?

The first step in solving a physics problem is to identify what is being asked and what information is given. This will help you determine which equations and concepts are relevant to the problem.

## 2. What should I do if I'm struggling with the algebra in a physics problem?

If you are struggling with the algebra in a physics problem, try writing down all the given information and known variables before attempting to solve. Also, double check your calculations and make sure you are using the correct units.

## 3. Can I use a calculator to solve a physics problem?

Yes, calculators can be very helpful in solving physics problems. However, make sure you are using the correct functions and entering the values correctly to avoid errors.

## 4. Are there any tips for solving physics problems more efficiently?

One tip for solving physics problems more efficiently is to break the problem down into smaller, more manageable parts. Also, make sure to label your variables and equations clearly to avoid confusion.

## 5. What should I do if I still can't solve the problem?

If you are still struggling with solving a physics problem, try asking a classmate, teacher, or tutor for help. Sometimes a fresh perspective can make all the difference. Also, make sure to review any relevant notes or textbook material that may provide additional insight.

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