• # Question: How do you work out equations?

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Asked by louloulorna to Akram, David, Gill, Jack, laurenceharwood on 16 Mar 2012.
• Akram Alomainy answered on 16 Mar 2012:

Sorry but I am not sure what you are exactly asking but generally by understanding what it is then following mathematical techniques to get the answer you want for example the solutions for quadratic equation has a set of rules to follow!

• Jack Snape answered on 16 Mar 2012:

It’s all about balancing either side of the equals (=) sign … you can move things either side of that sign but you have to make sure it balances, like a set of weighing scales 🙂

• Laurence Harwood answered on 17 Mar 2012:

Oh! I’m rubbish at equations. Just because you can’t do maths doesn’t mean that you can’t be a scientist. Having said that, I DID have to do a fair bit of maths at university but I sort of muddled through. Equations are all about realising that you can do anything (add, subtract – but most usefully multiply and divide) either side of the equation, hopefully to get rid of some of the things in the equation and make it more simple. I am presuming you mean simultaneous equations Here’s an example

x + y = 6 equation 1
y = 4x + 1 equation 2

substuting 4x + 1 for y in equation 1 gives

x + 4x+ 1 = 6

subtracting 1 from each side gives

x = 4x = 5 or

5x = 5

Therefore x = 1

Wow! I can still do it !!!

If you mean chemical equations, get back to me – I’m on much firmer ground there.

• Gill Menzies answered on 19 Mar 2012:

As Jack says – its about balance. We did a lot of experimanets to prove equations in my first year at uni – I really loved this bit and was quite good at it. Made me sure I was doing the right course 🙂