A System of Equations with no solution | Summary and Q&A

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September 15, 2016
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blackpenredpen
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A System of Equations with no solution

TL;DR

Learn how to use the elimination method to solve a system of equations and determine if it has a solution.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What is the elimination method, and why is it faster than substitution?

The elimination method involves eliminating one variable in a system of equations by multiplying one or both equations to make the coefficients of the chosen variable the same. It is faster than substitution because it reduces the number of steps required to find the solution.

Q: How do you determine which variable to isolate first in the elimination method?

You can choose to isolate either x or y first, depending on personal preference. Both ways will work effectively in solving the system of equations.

Q: How do you calculate the least common multiple (LCM) for the elimination method?

To find the LCM, identify the prime factors of the two given numbers and multiply the highest power of each factor. In this case, finding the LCM of 5 and 10 results in LCM = 10.

Q: What is the significance of alternating signs when using the elimination method?

When multiplying one equation in the elimination method, the sign of the coefficients should alternate. For example, if the first equation has a positive coefficient, the second equation should have a negative coefficient of the same value.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • The elimination method is faster than substitution for solving systems of equations.

  • Identify which variable to isolate first (either x or y).

  • Use the least common multiple (LCM) as the multiplier to make the coefficients of a chosen variable the same for both equations.

  • Subtract the equations to eliminate the chosen variable and solve for the remaining variable.

  • If the resulting equation leads to a false statement (such as 0 = 8), the original system of equations has no solution.

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