Paul's Online Notes
Paul's Online Notes
Home / Algebra / Solving Equations and Inequalities / Absolute Value Equations
Show Mobile Notice Show All Notes Hide All Notes
Mobile Notice
You appear to be on a device with a "narrow" screen width (i.e. you are probably on a mobile phone). Due to the nature of the mathematics on this site it is best views in landscape mode. If your device is not in landscape mode many of the equations will run off the side of your device (should be able to scroll to see them) and some of the menu items will be cut off due to the narrow screen width.

Section 2.14 : Absolute Value Equations

7. Find all the real valued solutions to the equation.

\[\left| {{x^2} + 4} \right| = 1\]

Show All Steps Hide All Steps

Hint : Don’t let the fact that there is a quadratic term in the absolute value throw you off. This problem works exactly the same as the previous problems!
Start Solution

To this point we’ve only worked problems that have linear terms in the absolute value bars. In this case we have a quadratic in the absolute value bars. That doesn’t change how the problem works however. We work this exactly like the previous problems.

Applying the formula from this section gives,

\[{x^2} + 4 = - 1\hspace{0.25in}{\mbox{or}}\hspace{0.25in}{x^2} + 4 = 1\] Show Step 2

To finish this problem all we need to do is solve each of the quadratic equations we got in the previous step. Here is the solution to each of them.

\[\begin{align*}{x^2} + 4 & = - 1\hspace{0.25in} \to \hspace{0.25in}{x^2} = - 5\hspace{0.25in} \to \hspace{0.25in}x = \pm \sqrt 5 \,i\\ {x^2} + 4 & = 1\hspace{0.25in} \to \hspace{0.25in}{x^2} = - 3\hspace{0.25in} \to \hspace{0.25in}x = \pm \sqrt 3 \,i\end{align*}\]

Note that the instructions asked for “real valued solutions”. This basically means that we don’t want complex solutions and the solutions to both of the quadratic equations from the first step are complex and so, for this equation, there are no solutions.