Roots and Radicals
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
Most people simplify radicals by looking for perfect square factors, but this is an alternative method that works for other roots besides square roots. Create a factor tree, and look at only the bottom, prime number leaves. If you're doing a square root, pairs of numbers represent a factor outside the radical; a cube root, trios of the same number, and so forth. Any prime "leaf" that is left without a pair (or trio) will remain inside the radical.
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