Saturday, 19 July 2008

Solving Simultaneous Equations - A common exercise

To start with, simultaneous equations are a set of linear or quadratic equations with variables unknown.

x + y = 8
2x -y = 10

The "x" and "y" are the unknown variables and their relationships are reflected in the two equations. There are many incidents where the variables have to be computed. The two equations in the above example may be derived from two separate real-life conditions of an event.

To solve these simultaneous equations, a requirement has to be satisfied before the unknown variables can be solved.

The requirement is: The number of unknown variables must be less than or at least equal to the number of equations or relations.

There are many methods to handle simultaneous equations. The are listed below:-
1) Elimination
2) Substitution
3) Graphical
4) Cramer's Rule
5) Inverse matrix

All has their own merits and demerits.

Though, some may be simple, they are tedious (method 4) to handle. For some, it may be error-prone (method 1) but straight forward.

Whichever method a person select, he has to know his own strength and weakness before deciding on the suitable technique.

Finally to conclude, solving simultaneous equations may seem difficult to some people, but if one truly understand mathematical manipulation of numbers and variables, it should be clear that there is nothing fearful about solving simultaneous equations. It is the matching of comfort level with solving these equations. Nothing difficult.


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