Mathematics for Chemistry/Functions

Functions as tools in chemistryEdit

The quadratic formulaEdit

In order to find the solutions to the general form of a quadratic equation,

 

there is a formula

 

(Notice the line over the square root has the same priority as a bracket. Of course we all know by now that   is not equal to   but errors of priority are among the most common algebra errors in practice).

There is a formula for a cubic equation but it is rather complicated and unlikely to be required for undergraduate-level study of chemistry. Cubic and higher equations occur often in chemistry, but if they do not factorise they are usually solved by computer.

Solve:

 

 

Notice the scope or range of the bracket.

 

 

Notice here that the variable is a concentration, not the ubiquitous  .