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Somewhat convoluted algebra problem

  1. May 12, 2014 #1


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    ImageUploadedByPhysics Forums1399951010.326927.jpg

    Ignoring the context of the problem, essentially I am just trying to solve for R1. I am getting frustrated that I am not getting the right answer, so I am wondering where I went wrong in my algebra. The only thing I can guess is that if the left hand side of the equation is a sum, in the step where I square both sides of the equation, I can't square each of the terms on the left separately.

    here is the wolfram alpha calculation


    somewhat embarrassing, I just haven't done this type of mathematical manipulation in a while to remember :(
    Last edited: May 12, 2014
  2. jcsd
  3. May 12, 2014 #2


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    Nevermind, I had to relearn that you do have to square the sum, not the individual terms T.T
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