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anonymous
 5 years ago
What is the difference between a factor of a quadratic equation and a zero of a quadratic equation?
anonymous
 5 years ago
What is the difference between a factor of a quadratic equation and a zero of a quadratic equation?

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shadowfiend
 5 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Generally speaking, a factor is the component of a quadratic equation that gives you a zero. For example, if you have the quadratic equation \(x^2  4\), you can *factor* it into two parts: \[x^2  4 = (x + 2)(x  2)\] \(x + 2\) and \(x  2\) are the *factors*, and they give you the two *zeros*, which are 2 and 2. A zero is the value of x at which the parabola that the quadratic formula describes crosses the y axis (i.e., has a value of 0). A factor is a part of the equation. Multiplying all the factors together gives you the original equation.

anonymous
 5 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Shadowfiend is correct, with one small "oops." The zeros are where the curve of the equation crosses the Xaxis, not the yaxis. So in the example above, the parabola crosses the xaxis at 2 and 2; it crosses the yaxis at 4. (The constant term of a polynomial is always the yintercept.)

shadowfiend
 5 years ago
Best ResponseYou've already chosen the best response.0Hah! Yes indeed, where it crosses the X axis. Thanks for the catch, LBickford :)
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