In the next few months, I have to teach the quadratic equation to my algebra students. I already know a lot about the "formula" and how to solve it, graph it, describe it, find its zeros, the discrimants, domain, range . . . aaaaaggggghhhh! Somebody stop me.
Back in 2003, the quadratic equation become the subject of national debate in the UK. The quadratic equation was held aloft to that great nation as an example of the cruel torture inflicted by mathematicians upon poor unsuspecting school children. The question then, is the quadratic really useless and should we actually bother teaching it anymore?
So I wanted to know, what are quadratic equations actually good for? Turns out, quite a few things indeed.
Did you know?
A quadratic equation is the product of two linear equations?
The area of a square is a simple quadratic and the area of a rectangle is a slightly more complicated quadratic.
A graphed quadratic looks like a parabola.
Quadratics are used to describe the orbits of planets, comets and other celestial bodies.
Quadratics (because of their parabolic nature) aided in the creation of reflective telescopes.
Because of quadratics we have architecture, electronics, micro-chips, fridges, car brakes that work, radio, quantum theory, flight differential equations and so much more.
I don't pretend to have an indepth understanding of how it all works, but I do have a deeper appreciation.