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Dividing Radicals and Rationalizing the Denominator - Problem 10

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

We aim to leave all denominators rational, meaning having no square roots. If your denominator has a binomial where one of the terms is a root, in order to rationalize the denominator, you'll need to multiply top and bottom of the fraction by the conjugate of the denominator. The conjugate is found by changing the plus or minus sign between the two terms. This works because if you FOIL the bottom correctly, the radical terms will become integers. Be sure to simplify the resulting fraction as much as possible.

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