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Why are equations used to represent many similar situations?a. because an equation is...

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melissazamora7 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted June 6, 2012 at 1:36 PM via web

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Why are equations used to represent many similar situations?

a. because an equation is the only way to summarize data from an experiment

b.to simplify work without needing to memorize specific results

c.because scientists disguise their work in mathematical terms to keep others from stealing their work

d.because many situations are very similar; their answers become the same

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 6, 2012 at 7:52 PM (Answer #1)

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None of the four answers is clearly correct (and options b. and c. are simply wrong).  The human brain assimilates data, makes “sense” of outward stimuli, by comparing unknowns to knowns.  The equation is a language, usually mathematical but sometimes simply logical, that says “this piece of evidence is equal to that piece of evidence, and therefore can be known by substituting one for the other” (“A difference that makes no difference is no difference.”)  Mathematics deals with measurable quantities, “quantifiable information” (distances, weights, numbers per minute, etc.), while logic deals with reasoning, inductive and deductive, which information comes in language code (although there is also a formal, symbol-driven expression of Logic).  So answer choice a. is fine except for the word “only”; answer choice d. is closer but awkwardly worded.  A better answer would be: “Equations are used because they demonstrate equalities that can then be exchanged for each other.”

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