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A quantity y varies inversely with the square of x . If y = 8 when x = 3 , find y when x is 4.

9 2

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Solving problems involving joint variation

Many situations are more complicated than a basic direct variation or inverse variation model. One variable often depends on multiple other variables. When a variable is dependent on the product or quotient of two or more variables, this is called joint variation    . For example, the cost of busing students for each school trip varies with the number of students attending and the distance from the school. The variable c , cost, varies jointly with the number of students, n , and the distance, d .

Joint variation

Joint variation occurs when a variable varies directly or inversely with multiple variables.

For instance, if x varies directly with both y and z , we have x = k y z . If x varies directly with y and inversely with z , we have x = k y z . Notice that we only use one constant in a joint variation equation.

Solving problems involving joint variation

A quantity x varies directly with the square of y and inversely with the cube root of z . If x = 6 when y = 2 and z = 8 , find x when y = 1 and z = 27.

Begin by writing an equation to show the relationship between the variables.

x = k y 2 z 3

Substitute x = 6 , y = 2 , and z = 8 to find the value of the constant k .

6 = k 2 2 8 3 6 = 4 k 2 3 = k

Now we can substitute the value of the constant into the equation for the relationship.

x = 3 y 2 z 3

To find x when y = 1 and z = 27 , we will substitute values for y and z into our equation.

x = 3 ( 1 ) 2 27 3    = 1
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x varies directly with the square of y and inversely with z . If x = 40 when y = 4 and z = 2 , find x when y = 10 and z = 25.

x = 20

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Access these online resources for additional instruction and practice with direct and inverse variation.

Visit this website for additional practice questions from Learningpod.

Key equations

Direct variation y = k x n , k  is a nonzero constant .
Inverse variation y = k x n , k  is a nonzero constant .

Key concepts

  • A relationship where one quantity is a constant multiplied by another quantity is called direct variation. See [link] .
  • Two variables that are directly proportional to one another will have a constant ratio.
  • A relationship where one quantity is a constant divided by another quantity is called inverse variation. See [link] .
  • Two variables that are inversely proportional to one another will have a constant multiple. See [link] .
  • In many problems, a variable varies directly or inversely with multiple variables. We call this type of relationship joint variation. See [link] .

Section exercises

Verbal

What is true of the appearance of graphs that reflect a direct variation between two variables?

The graph will have the appearance of a power function.

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If two variables vary inversely, what will an equation representing their relationship look like?

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Is there a limit to the number of variables that can jointly vary? Explain.

No. Multiple variables may jointly vary.

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Algebraic

For the following exercises, write an equation describing the relationship of the given variables.

Questions & Answers

how fast can i understand functions without much difficulty
Joe Reply
what is set?
Kelvin Reply
a colony of bacteria is growing exponentially doubling in size every 100 minutes. how much minutes will it take for the colony of bacteria to triple in size
Divya Reply
I got 300 minutes. is it right?
Patience
no. should be about 150 minutes.
Jason
It should be 158.5 minutes.
Mr
ok, thanks
Patience
100•3=300 300=50•2^x 6=2^x x=log_2(6) =2.5849625 so, 300=50•2^2.5849625 and, so, the # of bacteria will double every (100•2.5849625) = 258.49625 minutes
Thomas
what is the importance knowing the graph of circular functions?
Arabella Reply
can get some help basic precalculus
ismail Reply
What do you need help with?
Andrew
how to convert general to standard form with not perfect trinomial
Camalia Reply
can get some help inverse function
ismail
Rectangle coordinate
Asma Reply
how to find for x
Jhon Reply
it depends on the equation
Robert
yeah, it does. why do we attempt to gain all of them one side or the other?
Melissa
whats a domain
mike Reply
The domain of a function is the set of all input on which the function is defined. For example all real numbers are the Domain of any Polynomial function.
Spiro
Spiro; thanks for putting it out there like that, 😁
Melissa
foci (–7,–17) and (–7,17), the absolute value of the differenceof the distances of any point from the foci is 24.
Churlene Reply
difference between calculus and pre calculus?
Asma Reply
give me an example of a problem so that I can practice answering
Jenefa Reply
x³+y³+z³=42
Robert
dont forget the cube in each variable ;)
Robert
of she solves that, well ... then she has a lot of computational force under her command ....
Walter
what is a function?
CJ Reply
I want to learn about the law of exponent
Quera Reply
explain this
Hinderson Reply
Practice Key Terms 7

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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