Mathematics for Chemistry/Functions

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
< Mathematics for Chemistry
Jump to: navigation, search

Functions as tools in chemistry[edit]

The quadratic formula[edit]

In order to find the solutions to the general form of a quadratic equation,

there is a formula

(Notice the line over the square root has the same priority as a bracket. Of course we all know by now that is not equal to but errors of priority are among the most common algebra errors in practice).

There is a formula for a cubic equation but it is rather complicated and unlikely to be required for undergraduate-level study of chemistry. Cubic and higher equations occur often in chemistry, but if they do not factorise they are usually solved by computer.

Solve:

Notice the scope or range of the bracket.

Notice here that the variable is a concentration, not the ubiquitous .