Do not write down the power that is on each factor

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Unformatted text preview: inator of the first fraction by 2. Remember that we’ve got to multiply both the numerator and denominator by the same number since we aren’t allowed to actually change the problem and © 2007 Paul Dawkins 47 College Algebra this is equivalent to multiplying the fraction by 1 since a = 1 . For the second term we’ll need to a multiply the numerator and denominator by a 3. 5 3 5 ( 2 ) 3 ( 3) 10 9 10 - 9 1 -= =-= = 6 4 6 ( 2 ) 4 ( 3) 12 12 12 12 Now, the process for rational expressions is identical. The main difficulty is in finding the least common denominator. However, there is a really simple process for finding the least common denominator for rational expressions. Here is it. 1. Factor all the denominators. 2. Write down each factor that appears at least once in any of the denominators. Do NOT write down the power that is on each factor, only write down the factor 3. Now, for each factor written down in the previous step write down the largest power that occurs in all the denominators containing that factor. 4. The product all the factors from the previous step is the least common denominator. Let’s work some examples. Example 3 Perform the indicat...
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