what is x equals the negative value of b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus fout times a times c divided by two times a?

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steveschoen | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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That is the quadratic formula.  People use that to solve quadratic equations, the standard form ax^2 + bx + c = 0.  So, for instance, if you have:

2x^2 + 10x + 12 = 0

You would have a = 2, b = 10, and c = 12.  You would plug those values into the quadratic formula to determine what x is, here, x = -2 and x = -3.

This formula works everytime.  Unlike factoring, which only works if you can factor it.  This can even give you any imaginary solutions, as well.