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Chapter 9_ Radical Expressions and Equations

Multiplication and Division of Radical Expressions

As long as the roots are the same we can multiply the radicands together using the
following property.
Multiplying Radicals Given positive real numbers A and B and integer n > 1:
n
A n B = n AB
Since multiplication is commutative just multiply the coefficients together and multiply
the radicands together, if the roots are the same, then simplify.
A. Multiply
4 25

3 3 9

2 16 2

2 5 3 3 5 27 2 5 9

8 3 9 27

6 5 3 15 4 3

Take care to be sure that the roots are the same before multiplying. We will assume that
all variables are positive.
B. Simplify

x10 x 4

23 2 6

Problems Solved!

3 xy 2 3 9 x 2 y 4

3 3 5 3 + 2 15

x2

xy 5 5 5 x 3 y

2 x 3 16 x

9.4 - 1

Chapter 9_Radical Expressions and Equations

2 3 3 2 6

)(

5+ 3

)(

5 3

Multiplication and Division

(2

(1 7 )(1 + 7 )

3x 2 y

These binomials
are conjugates of
each other.

When dividing radical expressions, as long as the roots are the same, we can divide the
radicands using the following property.
Dividing Radicals Given positive real numbers A and B and integer n > 1:
n
A n A
=
n
B
B
It is our choice to divide the radicands first or simplify first then divide. Either way we
choose to work the following problems the results will be the same.
C. Divide (assume all variables are positive)
100

50 x 5

2x

24

54 x 5 y 8

18

3 xy 3

Problems Solved!

16a 5 b 4
3

2a 2 b

64a 7 b 9
5

2a 2 b

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Chapter 9_Radical Expressions and Equations

Multiplication and Division

Rationalizing the Denominator


A simplified radical expression can not have a radical in the denominator. When the
denominator has a radical in it we must multiply the entire expression by some form of 1
to eliminate it. The basic steps follow.
4x 5 3

Simplify:
5

Step 1: Determine what


powers of each factor in the
denominator are needed to
allow us to simplify.

2x 2 y 3

Step 2: Multiply numerator


and denominator by what
you need to bring the
powers up to the root.
Step 3: The denominator
now simplifies, this should
not be a surprise.

D. Rationalize the denominator.


1
3

7x
21x 3 y 2

Problems Solved!

Step 4: Canceling, if we
can, is the last step.

3
2x

4a11
b13 c 7

2b 3 5
2a 2 b

5 5 c 4
5

25a 2 b

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Chapter 9_Radical Expressions and Equations

Multiplication and Division

Tip: When rationalizing the denominator the root drives our choices. Multiply numerator
and denominator by what you need to raise all the powers of the denominator to equal the
root.
This technique does not work when dividing by a binomial which contains a radical. A
new technique is introduced to deal with this situation.
Simplify:

1
2+ 3

Binomial with radicals in


the denominator.
Multiply numerator and
denominator by the conjugate.
The middle terms will
always add to zero.
No more radicals in the
denominator!

If we have a radical expression of the form a + b then its conjugate is a b and


a + b a b = ab

)(

E. Rationalize the denominator.


2
1+ 3

Problems Solved!

3+2

x+ y

5 3

x y

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