Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The square root of a fraction

By definition we cannot derive the square root of a fraction. Thus we must find a way to get a fraction out of the radical.

Consider the square root of 1/2

sqrt(1/2)

how can we get the fraction out? We have to multiply and make the denominator a perfect square. But what we multiply to the bottom we must also multiply to the top

sqrt((1/2)*(2/2))

=

1/2*sqrt(2)

Now we have got the fraction out of the radical and created a square root we can rationalize.

Another example

sqrt(3/5)

To get the denominator out we multiply by (5/5) (which is equal to 1)

sqrt((3/5)*(5/5))

=

(1/5)*sqrt(3*5)

=

(1/5)*sqrt(15)

1 comment:

14A36356 said...

Couldn't you just distribute the root?

ie,

sqrt(1/2)

= sqrt(1) / sqrt(2)

= 1 / sqrt(2)

= sqrt(2) / 2 (multiply by sqrt(2)/sqrt(2))