What are Algebraic Equations?
An algebraic equation can be defined as a mathematical statement in which two expressions are set equal to each other. In simple words, equations mean equality i.e. the equal sign. That’s what equations are all about- “equating one quantity with another”.
Equations are like a balance scale. If you’ve seen a balance scale, you would know that an equal amount of weight has to be placed on either side for the scale to be considered “balanced”. If we add some weight to just one side, the scale will tip on one side and the two sides are no longer in balance. Equations follow the same logic. Whatever is on one side of the equal sign must have exactly the same value on the other side else it becomes an inequality.
Also Check: Algebraic Expressions
Example of an Algebraic Equation
Consider an equation 1+1 = 2.
It is balanced as both sides have the same value. To avoid committing an error that tips the equation out of balance, make sure that any change on one side of the equation is reciprocated on the other side. For example, if you want to add a number 5 to one side of the equation you will have to add the same 5 to the other side of the equation i.e.
1 + 1 = 2
1 + 1 + 5 = 2 + 5
The same goes for subtraction, multiplication, and division. As long as you do the same thing to both sides of the equation it will remain balanced.
Types of Algebraic Equations
Algebraic equations are of various types. A few of the equations in algebra are:
All the polynomial equations are a part of algebraic equations like the linear equations. To recall, a polynomial equation is an equation consisting of variables, exponents and coefficients.
- Linear equations: ax+b=c (a not equal to 0)
A quadratic equation is a polynomial equation of degree 2 in one variable of type f(x) = ax2 + bx + c.
- Quadratic Equations: ax2+bx+c=0 (a not equal to 0)
The cubic polynomials are polynomials with degree 3. All the cubic polynomials are also algebraic equations.
- Cubic Polynomials: ax3+bx2+cx+d=0
Rational Polynomial Equations
All the trigonometric equations are all considered as algebraic functions. For a trigonometry equation, the expression includes the trigonometric functions of a variable.
- Trigonometric Equations: cos2x = 1+4sinx
Solving Algebraic Equations
Consider the following situation. I am going on a trip. In one bag I carry some t-shirts, shorts, and towels. A total of 8 items can fit in the bag. So I pack 4 shirts and 2 shorts. How many towels can I now carry?
Consider the number of towels to be ‘x’. Let’s form the equation now.
4 shirts + 2 shorts + ‘x’ towels = 8 clothes
The left-hand side (LHS) of our equation is being compared to the right-hand side (RHS) of the equation.
Now, let’s solve this equation:
I can carry 2 towels for my trip.
In the same way, what would depict an inequality? Obviously, when the left-hand side is not equal to the right-hand side. How would this happen?
Let’s take the same 6 + x = 8 and change that equal to into a greater than or a lesser than sign. These aren’t equations! Consider some examples to clarify this concept.
x + 2 = 21, xy + 9 = z are equations but 6p > 77 is not.
Learn More: Solving Linear Equations
Example Question on Algebraic Equation
Question: Simplify the given equation : 2(x+4)+3(x–5)–2y=0
Given equation: 2(x+4)+3(x−5)–2y=0
2x+2×4+3x–3×5–2y=0 (Using Distributive property to get rid of parenthesis)
5x–2y–7=0 (on further simplifying terms)
Difference Between Expression and Equations
Many times students are confused between expressions and equation. Here is the difference between them