<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Equations and inequalities: literal equations

A literal equation is one that has several letters or variables. Examples include the area of a circle ( A = π r 2 ) and the formula for speed ( s = d t ). In this section you will learn how to solve literal equations in terms of one variable. To do this, you will use the principles you have learnt about solving equations and apply them to rearranging literal equations. Solving literal equations is also known as changing the subject of the formula.

You should bear the following in mind when solving literal equations:

  • We isolate the unknown by asking what is joined to it, how this is joined and we do the opposite operation (to both sides as a whole).
  • If the unknown variable is in two or more terms, then we take it out as a common factor.
  • If we have to take the square root of both sides, remember that there will be a positive and a negative answer.
  • If the unknown variable is in the denominator, then we find the lowest common denominator (LCD), multiply both sides by LCD and then continue to solve the problem.

The area of a triangle is A = 1 2 b × h . What is the height of the triangle in terms of the base and area?

  1. We rearrange the equation so that the height is on one side of the equals sign and the rest of the variables are on the other side of the equation.
    A = 1 2 b × h 2 A = b × h ( multiply both sides by 2 ) 2 A b = h ( divide both sides by b )
  2. The height of a triangle is given by: h = 2 A b

Got questions? Get instant answers now!

Solving literal equations

  1. Solve for t: v = u + at
  2. Solve for x: a x - b x = c
  3. Solve for x: 1 b + 2 b x = 2

Questions & Answers

What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
Jobilize.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 maths [caps]. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11306/1.4
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 maths [caps]' conversation and receive update notifications?