Linear Algebra For Dummies
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A quadratic equation is any second degree polynomial equation — that’s when the highest power of x, or whatever other variable is used, is 2. You can solve quadratic equations by factoring.

  1. Bring all terms to one side of the equation, leaving a zero on the other side.

  2. Factor.

    (2x + 3)(x – 4) = 0

  3. Set each factor equal to zero (using the zero product property).

    The zero product property states that if the product of any number of factors is zero, then at least one of the factors must be equal to zero.

    2x + 3 = 0

    2x = –3



    x – 4 = 0

    x = 4

    So, this equation has two solutions:


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Mary Jane Sterling taught algebra, business calculus, geometry, and finite mathematics at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois, for more than 30 years. She is the author of several For Dummies books, including Algebra Workbook For Dummies, Algebra II For Dummies, and Algebra II Workbook For Dummies.

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