Quadratic Formula and Equations - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics

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Quadratic Formula and Equations

A quadratic equation is an equation of the second degree, meaning that for an equation in x, the greatest exponent on x is 2. Quadratics most commonly refer to vertically oriented parabolas—that is, parabolas that open upward or downward. The graph of a vertically oriented parabola has the shape of a rounded "v," and the bottom-most (or top-most) point is called the vertex.

The equation for a parabola is usually written in either standard or vertex form; however, the standard form is more commonly used to solve for the x-intercepts, or roots. The standard form is y = ax2+ bx + c for any real numbers a, b, c where a ≠ 0. The vertex form is y - k = a(x - b)2 with vertex (b, k) and where a ≠ 0.

Because x-intercepts are the points at which the graph crosses...

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This section contains 1,498 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Quadratic Formula and Equations Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics
Quadratic Formula and Equations from Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.