# Quadratic Equation

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1. When solving a quadratic equation using the quadratic formula, it is possible for the b2 - 4ac term inside the square root (the discriminant) to be negative, thus forcing us to take the square root of a negative number. The solutions to the equation will then be complex numbers (i.e., involve the imaginary unit i).

Question:

In the real world, where might these so-called imaginary numbers be used?

2. When using a formula, we often know the value of one variable to a greater degree of accuracy than we know the others. In your opinion, what affect, if any, does it make on our use of a formula if we know the value of one variable to a greater degree of accuracy than another?

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##### Solution Summary

Usage of imaginary numbers in the real world is explained.

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"In the real world, where might these so-called imaginary numbers be used?"

Complex numbers (complex numbers are often called "imaginary numbers") enter into studies of physical phenomena in ways that most people can't imagine. There is, for example, a differential equation, with coefficients like the a, b, and c in the quadratic formula, that models how electrical circuits or forced spring/damper systems behave. The movement of the shock absorber of a car as it goes over a ...

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