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# Rational Expressions and Equations

## Study Strategy –Preparing for a Cumulative Exam

•Preparing for a Cumulative Review
•Old Quizzes and Tests
•Homework and Notes
•Cumulative Review Exercises
•Applied Problems
•Study Groups

## Section 7.1 –Rational Expressions and Functions

Concept –Rational Expressions
A rational expression is a quotient of two polynomials. The denominator of a rational expression must be nonzero, as division by zero is undefined.

Example –Rational Expressions Concept –Values for Which a Rational Expression is Undefined

To find the values for which a rational expression is undefined, we set the denominator equal to 0 and solve the resulting equation. These solutions are the values for which the expression is undefined.

Example –Values for Which a Rational Expression is Undefined

Find the values for which the rational expression is undefined:  The expression is undefined for x=3,6.

Concept –Simplifying a Rational Expression to Lowest Terms

To simplify a rational expression to lowest terms, we first factor the numerator and denominator. Then we may divide out common factors in the numerator and denominator.

Example –Simplifying a Rational Expression to Lowest Terms

Simplify to lowest terms:  Concept –Factors That Are Opposites

Two expressions of the form a-b and b-a are opposites. The rational expression simplifies to equal -1,as any fraction whose numerator is the opposite of its denominator is equal to -1.

Example –Factors That Are Opposites

Simplify to lowest terms:  ## Section 7.2 –Multiplication and Division of Rational Expressions

Concept –Multiplying Rational Expressions

To multiply two rational expressions, factor each numerator and denominator completely. Divide out factors that are common to a numerator and a denominator and multiply the remaining factors, leaving the numerator and denominator in factored form.

Example –Multiplying Rational Expressions Concept –Dividing Rational Expressions

To divide a rational expression by another rational expression, replace the divisor by its reciprocal and then multiply.

Example –Dividing Rational Expressions 