Introduction to Simplifying and Using Square Roots

What you’ll learn to do: Use square roots to simplify expressions and solve application problems

A white egg lying on its side on a counter

If you drop an egg off a building, how long will it take to hit the ground?

In Mr. Fraser’s physics class, the students are doing a messy experiment: They’re dropping eggs off the roof of the science building to see how long it takes them to reach the ground. (To minimize cleanup, they’ve placed tarps down in advance.) Before they conduct the experiment, Mr. Fraser asks the students to list the factors that they think will affect the experiment. Most students think the egg’s weight will partially determine how long it takes to hit the ground. But Mr. Fraser proposes that there’s actually a simple formula they can use to figure out how long it will take the eggs to reach the ground: the square root of the height the egg is dropped from, divided by [latex]4[/latex]. To find out whether Mr. Fraser is telling the truth, the students will need to simplify expressions with square roots. Read on to find out how to do that.

Before you get started, take this readiness quiz.

readiness quiz


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