School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences Faculty Publications and Presentations

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The standard technique for solving equations with radicals is to square both sides of the equation as many times as necessary to eliminate all radicals. Because the procedure violates logical equivalence, it results in extraneous solutions that do not satisfy the original equation, making it necessary to check all solutions against the original equation. We propose alternative solution procedures that are rigorous and simple to execute where the extraneous solutions can be identified without verification against the original equation. In this article, we review previous literature, establish and illustrate rigorous solution procedures for radical equations of depth 1 (i.e. equations where all radicals can be eliminated in one step), and deal with an ambiguity concerning the definition of real-valued solutions to radical equations. An application to defining the inverse function, resulting in a parametric radical equation, is also explained.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology on 2018 available online:

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International Journal of Mathematical Education in Science and Technology



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Mathematics Commons



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