my little brother just came over with a math problem. i tried to help his as best I could (i failed 2 years of algebra in college) so i told him i would ask online. here is the problem: He wants to simplify the square root of 72, and put it in simplest form. I dont know the computer keyboard equivalent for the square root, so I'll use the "^" key. Here is what I got: ^72 = 9*8=72 therefore ^9^8 and therefore 3^8. (square root of 9 is 3) He told me he got the same thing, but the answer in the back of the book says the answer is 6^2 Which 36*2=72 (^36^2), but 9*8=72 (^9^8) as well. Anybody help? How is the last one correct?

^ = Square root ^(72) = ^(36*2) = 6^(2) ^36 = 6 The book probably uses 36 because it leaves the smallest number under the square root untouched. Sort of like the smallest remainder. It is simpler way to get the answer. But the same answer can be obtained either way 9*8=72 (^9^8) 3 ^(8) = 3 ^(2*4) (cuz you can still factor out 8) = 3*2 ^(2) = 6 ^(2)

how can you... shit.... ^9^8 = 3^8 = 3^4^2 = 3*6= 6^2 doh. I was thinking that since 3^* (you cant square 8...) it was done ok, you mind if i go back to my brother and tell him that i figure it out all by myself lol. i just dont understand math....i suffered for four fucking years in college. and for what?

Just say it like it's a function of something: sqrt(x). Makes it a lot easier to read. And yeah, the 6*sqrt(2) is correct because it has the smallest number in the sqrt. And something like sqrt(2) is pretty easy to know (1.41....) instead of trying to approximate sqrt(8). But that's for convenience. edit: oh yeah, I love math. It's great once you get to like calc 1/2/3 because you actually start learning why things in other maths ARE.

...but its a bitch. The last calc test raped me out of the blue...maybe I should start doing my homework for once...