n Learning and Teaching Mathematics - Surd equations and restrictions

Volume 2015, Issue 18
  • ISSN : 1990-6811


Restrictions form an important element of mathematics, and they arise in a number of different contexts. Restrictions are sometimes explicitly stated, for example a scenario where the solutions to a particular equation are restricted to natural numbers. There are also many situations where the restrictions are not explicitly stated but are mathematically embedded within the given algebraic equation or expression. Typical examples encountered in the school syllabus include algebraic fractions, logarithms, exponential equations, and equations involving surds. This article looks specifically at surd equations, and in particular how these embedded restrictions may be used to determine whether answers derived from solving such equations are indeed solutions of the original equation.

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