Sunday, 16 January 2011

Simultaneous Equations - Decimal Numbered

In the learning of maths, questions grow challenging as one progress upwards.

One such example is the solving of simultaneous equations.

The easy type:

Solve for x and y using elimination method.
4x + 3y = 10 ---- (1)
3x + 4y = 11 ---- (2)

For the above problem can be solved easily by selecting a coefficient to be commonised.
The post of elimination method is reference here for review.

But moving on (higher) with more challenging maths question ... we may get the below.

0.4x + 0.3y = 1 ---- (A)
3x    +    4y  = 11 ---(B)

What should we do next?

Equation (A) may seems unusual.  It is in decimal form!

But as the blog title claims "Maths Is Interesting!", we should not be worried.

This type of question is actually not new in concept or tricky as it seems.
It is there to test you understanding by being "different".

We have to remove the "catch", which is to change the decimated number to integer.
How we do it here is simply multiplying the coefficients by 10.

This makes equation (A) to be  4x + 3y = 10  (back to the original first set of simultaneous equations at the start of this post.

The above example serves to illustrate the simplicity of changing numbers to suit the condition for easy solving. (Other questions may be multiply by another decimal number, or integer).

Just have a clear mind and a confidence attitude will be enough to allow you to solve most of the maths questions.

Try it and you will believe what I say (or write).

Maths is interesting!