*Macmillan Science Library: Mathematics*. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.

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## Solving Quadratic Equations by Factoring

Not all quadratics can easily be factored, but if they can, the quickest way to solve them is to factor and use the zero product property. The zero product property basically states that if the product of two numbers is 0, then at least one of the numbers multiplied must be a 0. In other words, for any real numbers *a* and *b*, if *ab* = 0, then either *a* = 0 or *b* = 0.

Consider a swimmer who starts at one end of a pool, swims down to pick up a ring at the bottom of the middle of the pool, and then surfaces at the other end of the pool with the ring. The equation *y = x*^{2} - 6*x* + 9 can be used to model the path of the swimmer, where *y* is the water level in the pool measured in feet, and *x* is the time...

This section contains 1,498 words(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page) |