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Rationalizing the Denominator with Higher Roots - Problem 4

Teacher/Instructor Alissa Fong
Alissa Fong

MA, Stanford University
Teaching in the San Francisco Bay Area

Alissa is currently a teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area and Brightstorm users love her clear, concise explanations of tough concepts

When simplifying fractions that have roots in the denominator, our goal is to re-write them so that there is no root in the denominator at all- this is called "rationalizing the denominator." It is OK to have a root in the numerator. To do this, we multiply the top and bottom of the fraction by the root and simplify. Mathematically, this is valid because we're just multiplying by one. Another option is to simplify the root in th bottom first, and then multiply to and bottom by the simplified radical, but either method should give the same correct answer.

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