**Elementary
Algebra Chapter 6
RATIONAL EXPRESSIONS AND EQUATIONS**

**Before
beginning this chapter, please review Section
1.2.**

**Rational
numbers (common fractions) are ratios of integers.
Rational expressions are ratios of polynomials.
The rules for operating (adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing) with
rational expressions are the same as operating with rational numbers (common
fractions).**

**From
Section 6.1
Definition: **A

**Fundamental
Property of Fractions: **If a represents
a real number and b and c represent non-zero real numbers then

**FACT:**
The Fundamental
Property of Fractions is as valid for rational expressions as it is for common
fractions. The only difference is that when applying the property to rational
expressions one must interpret a, b and c as polynomials

**From
Section 6.2****
Rule for Multiplying Fractions: **If
a, b, c, and d represent real numbers and b isn not 0 and d is not 0 then

**FACT:**
The Rule
for Multiplying Fractions is as valid for rational expressions as it is for
common fractions. The only difference is that when applying the rule to rational
expressions one must interpret a, b,c and d as polynomials**.
PROCESS: **A good way to remember
this rule is to observe that it states:

the denominator of a product is the product of the denominators.

**Division
of Fractions: **If
a represents a real number and b, c, and d represent non-zero real numbers,
then

**FACT:**
The definition
of division as applied to fractions is as valid for rational expressions as
it is for common fractions. The only difference is that when applying the rule
to rational expressions one must interpret a, b,c and d as polynomials**.**

An alternate depiction of this definition of division whether applied to fractions
or rational expressions is the familiar

This is of
course an adaptation (to fraction notation) of the normal definition of division
as shown here.

**From
Section 6.3 and Section 6.4**

**Adding
Fractions with the Same Denominator:**
If a, b, and d represent real numbers and d is not 0, then

**FACT:**
Adding fractions with the same denominator
is as valid for rational expressions as it is for common fractions. The only
difference is that when applying the rule to rational expressions one must interpret
a, b and d as polynomials**.**

**Adding
Fractions with the Different Denominators:**
If a, b, c, and d represent real numbers and and b is not 0 and d is not 0,
then the sum
is computed by expanding the two fractions to fractions with the same denominator
( some common multiple of b and d) and then adding the two fractions with the
same denominator.

**FACT:**
Adding fractions with the different denominators
is as valid for rational expressions as it is for common fractions. The only
difference is that when applying the rule to rational expressions one must interpret
a, b, c, and d as polynomials**.**

**Subtraction
of Fractions:**
Subtraction of fractions is defined as an addition as shown here.

This is of course an adaptation (to fraction notation) of the normal definition
of subtraction as shown here.

**PROCESS:** To subtract
one fraction or rational expression from another, change the problem to an addition
problem and proceed according to the rules for addition.

**From
Section 6.5 **

** PROCESS: **To simplify a complex fraction simply perform the indicated division.

**Note:** If any of the numerators or denominators of the fractions involved contain a sum or difference, then the indicated addition (or subtraction) should be performed before attempting the division.

**Note:** Recall that all divisions are performed by converting to multiplication.

From
Section 6.6

**Definition:** A rational equation is an equation which contains one or more rational expressions.

**RECALL:** If any expression is added to both sides of an equation the resulting equation is equivalent to the original equation.

**RECALL:** If both sides of an equation are multiplied by the same non-zero real number, the resulting equation is equivalent to the original equation.

**FACT** -- Multiplying by a Variable Expression: When both sides of an equation are multiplied by an expression which contains a varible, the resulting equation is generally NOT equivalent to the original equation.

**FACT** -- Multiplying by a Variable Expression: When both sides of an equation are multiplied by an expression which contains a varible, the solution set of the resulting equation CONTAINS the solution set of the original equation.

**PROCESS:** To solve a rational equation;

1) Multiply both sides of the equation by the LCD of all rational expressions in the equation.

2) Solve the resulting equation to obtain possible solutions of the original equation.

3) Determine the solution set of the original equation by checking each of the possible solutions in the original equation.

**FACT:** If both sides of a rational equation are multiplied by the LCD of the rational expressions in the equation and if that LCD is a number (no variables), then the resulting equation is equivalent to the original equation.

**FACT:** The only way a possible rational solution (as found by the above process) can fail to be a solution of the original equation is for the possible solution to cause a denominator in the original equation to be zero . Consequently, possible solutions can be checked by simply insuring that they do not cause any denominator to be zero.

**Zero Quotient Property:** A fraction is equal to zero if and only if its numerator is zero.

**ALTERNATE PROCESS:** To solve a rational equation;

1) Add or subtract appropriate rational expressions to both sides of the equation to obtain 0 on one side of the equation.

2) Perform all the indicated additions and subtractions of rational expressions.

3) Use the Zero Factor Property to conclude the numerator must be zero.

4) Solve the resulting equation to obtain possible solutions of the original equation.

5) Determine the solution set of the original equation by checking each of the possible solutions in the original equation.