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Sharp EL546W Calculator

Solving Equations
Introduction
The Sharp EL546W Scientific Calculator has functions which allow us to solve equations of
the following types:
ax 2 bx c 0

Quadratic equations.................................................................Form:
Cubic equations...............................................................Form:

ax 3 bx 2 cx d 0

General equations................................................................................ Form:

fx 0

Quadratic Equations
The equation must be in the form...........................................................................ax 2 bx c 0
To solve a quadratic equation, set the mode and enter the coefficients a, b and c.
Recall that a quadratic equation may have 2 reals roots or 2 complex roots.

Example 1
Solve................................................................................................................ 4x 2 4x 15 0
Compare to:
ax 2 bx c 0
Set the mode to quadratic............................................................. Enter:
Display prompts for the first coefficient:

Display prompts for the third coefficient:

c? touch:

Display provides the second root


Display prompts for new coefficients...
Answer: ....The roots to the quadratic equation 4x 2 4x 15 0 are
x 2 1. 5
Recall that the roots are the x intercepts of y 4x 2 4x 15

ent

/ 4

ent

/ 15

ent

X1 2. 5

ent

X2 1. 5

ent

b? touch:

Display provides the first root

-1

touch:

a?

Display prompts for the second coefficient:

MODE 2 2

x 1 2. 5 and

-2.5
-5
-7.5
-10
-12.5
-15

y 4x 2 4x 15
Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 1

Example 2
Solve....................................................................................................................... 2t 2 3t 20
Write in the form ax 2 bx c 0

2t 2 3t 20 0

Set the mode to quadratic............................................................. Enter:


Display prompts for the first coefficient:
Display prompts for the third coefficient:

ent

/ 3

ent

touch:

a?

Display prompts for the second coefficient:

MODE 2 2

b?

touch:
touch:

c?

Display provides the first root

20

ent
xy
X1 0. 75

Note: xy at upper left indicates a complex root, where 0. 75 is the real


component.
To display the imaginary component,
xy
X1 3. 07205 i
The first root is:

touch

2nd F ,
t 1 0. 75 3. 07205 i

xy
and the Display is:
X2 0. 75
ent
To display the imaginary component,
touch
2nd F ,
xy
X2 3. 07205 i
The second root is:
t 2 0. 75 3. 07205 i

For the second root, touch

Answer: ........................................ The roots to the quadratic equation 2t 2 3t 20 are


t 1 0. 75 3. 07205 i and t 2 0. 75 3. 07205 i

Since the roots are complex, there are no x intercepts of ft 2t 2 3t 20


f(t)

70
60
50
40
30
20
10

-4

-2

4
t

ft 2t 2 3t 20

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 2

Cubic Equations
The equation must be in the form..................................................................ax 3 bx 2 cx d 0
To solve a cubic equation, set the mode and enter the coefficients a, b c and d.
Recall that a cubic equation may have 3 real roots or 1 real and 2 complex roots.

Example 1
Solve................................................................................................ 6x 3 14x 2 14. 5x 30 0
Compare to:
ax 3 bx 2 cx d 0
Set the mode to cubic.................................................................... Enter:
Display prompts for the first coefficient:

Display prompts for the fourth coefficient:

ent

/ 14

ent

/ 14. 5

ent

30

ent

X1 1. 5

ent

X2 2. 5

ent

X3 1. 3333

ent

touch:

a?

Display prompts for the second coefficient:


Display prompts for the third coefficient:

MODE 2 3

b?

touch:
touch:

c?

touch:

d?

Display provides the first root


Display provides the second root
Display provides the third root
Display prompts for new coefficients...

Answer: ........................The roots to the cubic equation 6x 3 14x 2 14. 5x 30 0 are


x 1 1. 5; x 2 2. 5 and x 3 1. 33
Recall that the roots are the x intercepts of
y

y 6x 3 14x 2 14. 5x 30

30
20
10
0

-2

-1

3
x

6x 3 14x 2 14. 5x 30

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 3

Example 2
Solve.......................................................................................................... 2n 3 35 4n 2 14n
ax 3 bx 2 cx d 0

Write in the form

2n 3 4n 2 14n 35 0

Set the mode to cubic ................................................................... Enter:


Display prompts for the first coefficient:

ent

/ 4

ent

/ 14

ent

35

ent

touch:

b?

touch:

c?

Display prompts for the fourth coefficient:

touch:

a?

Display prompts for the second coefficient:


Display prompts for the third coefficient:

MODE 2 3

touch:

d?

X1 2. 780 668. . .

Display provides the first root

n 1 2. 78

The first root is:

xy
and the Display is:
X2 2. 39033. . .
ent
( xy at upper left indicates a complex root, where 2. 39 is the real component).

For the second root, touch

To display the imaginary component,

2nd F ,

touch
Display is:

xy

X2 0. 7614 i

n 2 2. 39 0. 7614 i

The second root is:


For the third root, touch

ent

xy

and the Display is:

X3 2. 39033. . .

( xy again indicates another complex root, where 2. 39 is the real component).


To display the imaginary component,
touch
2nd F ,
xy
Display is:
X3 0. 7614 i
n 3 2. 39 0. 7614 i

The third root is:

Answer: ................................. The roots to the cubic equation 2n 3 35 4n 2 14n are


n 1 2. 78, n 2 2. 39 0. 7614 i and n 3 2. 39 0. 7614 i.
Since only one root is real, there is only one x intercepts of fn 2n 3 4n 2 14n 35.
40

f(n)

30
20
10
0
-3

-2

-1

3
n

fn 2n 3 4n 2 14n 35

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 4

General Equations
The Solver function on the Sharp EL546W allows us to solve a wide range of equations such
as:

ex 5 0

ln t 2t 3 0

3 sin 2x x 0

Newton Raphson
Many equations cannot be readily solved algebraically. Numerical methods can be used in
some situations. The Solver function uses a numerical method called the Newton Raphson
method.
Numerical methods are approximation techniques. The Newton Raphson method is an
iterative technique that can be used to determine real roots only. For each real root, a
starting value must be provided to initiate the iteration performed by the calculator.
The equation must be in the form.......................................................................................fx 0

Solver
To solve a general equation:
set the mode to Normal mode
enter the expression for f x
invoke the Solver function
provide a start value for the first real root to be determined.
To determine more than one real root for some fx 0, a new start value must be
provided.

Where to Start?
Selecting a starting value for each real root can sometimes be determined from familiarity
with the problem and a feel for the expected value.
Another technique is to plot the curve of the function and select a start value close to an
x intercept. This is the technique used in the following examples.

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 5

Example 1
Solve........................................................................................................................... e x 5 0
Compare to:
fx 0
Where to "start"?
From the plot of fx e x 5, the root is somewhere between 1 and 2 .
f(x)
5

2.5
0
0

0.5

1.5

2
x

-2.5

Any "start" value in that region will be acceptable. Well use 2.


Set the mode to Normal.................................................................. touch:
Enter the expression

ex 5

touch

2nd F

Invoke the Solver function


The Display

Start?

MODE 0

e x ALPHA X 5
touch:

prompts for the starting value:

The Display prompts for a value for dx?

MATH 0

touch:

ent

ent

to accept the default, touch:

(a lesser or greater value for dx will decrease or increase the precision)


Answer: .. The display indicates the root to the equation e x 5 0 is

x 1. 60944

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 6

Example 2
Solve......................................................................................................................... ln t 2t 3
Rewrite in the form

fx 0:

ln t 2t 3 0

Where to "start"?
y
1
0.5
0
0

0.5

1.5

-0.5

-1
-1.5

From the plot of ft ln t 2t 3, there are two roots. From the plot, lets
select 0. 3 as the "start" value for the first root.
select 1 as the "start" value for the second root.
A "start" value must be on the same side of a peak value as the root to be determined.
Set the mode to Normal.................................................................. touch:
Enter the expression ln t 2t 3
touch
ln ALPHA X 2 x
(Although t is the variable symbol, you must use X )
Invoke the Solver function
The Display

Start?

MODE 0
ALPHA X 3

touch:
prompts for the starting value:

MATH 0

touch:

The Display prompts for a value for dx?

touch:

0. 3

ent

ent

Displayed answer is

x 0. 055648

The First Root: .................. a root to the equation ln t 2t 3 0 is

t 0. 055648

(change dx to change the precision)


For the second root,

touch:

Input the start value for the 2nd root::

Start?

The Display prompts for a value for dx?

touch:
touch:

ent

ent

ent

Displayed answer is

x 1. 79154

The Second Root: ............... a root to the equation ln t 2t 3 0 is

t 1. 79154

Answer: .................. The roots to ln t 2t 3 0 are

t 1 0. 055648 and t 2 1. 79154

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 7

Example 3
Solve....................................................................................................................3 sin 2x x 0
fx 0:

Compare to
Where to "start"?
y

10

y 3.75

7.5

2.5

1.25

2.5

0
-2.5

0
0

2.5

-2.5

7.5

0.5

1.5

2.5

-1.25

-2.5

-5

-3.75

A General View
A Zoomed View
From the plot of fx 3 sin 2x x, there are five roots. Lets determine the smallest
positive root.
select 1. 5 as the "start" value for the smallest positive root.
A "start" value must be on the same side of a peak value as the root to be determined
Set the mode to Normal.................................................................. touch:
Set angle format to RAD........................................................touch:
Enter the expression 3 sin 2x xtouch

3 x sin

2x

The Display

Start?

SET UP ; 0 ; 1
ALPHA X

ALPHA X

Invoke the Solver function

MODE 0

touch:
prompts for the starting value:

The Display prompts for a value for dx?


(change dx to change the precision of the answer)
x 1. 9175

touch:

Input a new start value for another root:

1. 5

ent

ent

touch:

Displayed answer is

The smallest positive real root of 3 sin 2x x 0 is: ............................


For additional roots,

MATH 0

x 1. 9175

touch:

ent

Start?

Try to identify each of the 5 real roots:


The answers are:
x 1 1. 9175 ; x 2 2. 61298 ; x 3 0 ; x 4 1. 9175 and x 5 2. 61298
Note that the method is sensitive to the starting value used for each root.

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 8

Online Documents
The online Scientific Notebook version of this document can be accessed from within
Scientific Notebook by pasting the following URL into the dialogue under FileOpen
Location.:
http://www.mohawkcollege.ca/dept/math/EL546W/SharpEL546WEquations.tex
The online Adobe PDF version of this document can be accessed from any web browser,
with the URL:
http://www.mohawkcollege.ca/dept/math/EL546W/SharpEL546WEquations.pdf

Sharp EL546W - Solving Equations (SharpEL546W Equations.tex).......................................... 9

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