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Factoring(2): Factoring the Difference of Squares

 
Recall:                        

1)      Difference” means the result of subtraction.

2)      A perfect square is formed by multiplying a term by itself

3)      Conjugates are two binomials – one sum, and one difference – that begin and end with the same expression.

 

HOW TO FACTOR THE DIFFERENCE OF SQUARES:

1)      Make sure that the polynomial is, in fact, a difference of squares.  (It is not possible to factor a sum of squares!)

2)      Determine the square root of the first and last term.

3)      Write the binomial factors – these will be conjugates that begin and end with the square roots you found in step #2.

(Note: Because of the commutative property, the order of the factors doesn’t matter)
 

EXAMPLES WITH EXPLANATIONS:        (Click here to enlarge)

 

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