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Name: mike f frain
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: Around 1995

When in the world will you need to know the formula for a quadratic equa- tion? It seems unlikely you need to know ax^2 + bx + c = 0 anytime in your life.

Well, number 1, you need to know that to do a lot of higher mathematics. It is basic to a lot of stuff in complex arithmetic and trigonometry. (half-- angle formulas and the like). Number 2 it comes up an awful lot in physics, whenever you have a variable that has a quadratic dependency that you need to solve for - a simple example is motion under acceleration, where if you want to know the time at which a falling object will hit the ground, you need to solve a quadratic equation.


Here is a problem that most physics students have to do. It requires use of quadratics. A one pound brick is dropped on a scale from a height of one inch. The maximum reading of the scale is 5 pounds, and if a heavier weight is placed on the scale, it will break. Will the scale break? The scale is a spring scale, and the spring deflects 1/32 of an inch under a steady one pound load.


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