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

Question:
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.

Replies:
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.

asmith 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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