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**sarah****Guest**

Hey guys.

This might seem like a very silly question, but oh well: what is the significance of the number b in x2 + bx?

thank yooo

**sarah****Guest**

whoops

x^2 + bx , that is

**MathsIsFun****Administrator**- Registered: 2005-01-21
- Posts: 7,631

It just means you multiply x times b

So, if you knew that b was, say, 12, then you would have:

x^2 + 12 × x

"The physicists defer only to mathematicians, and the mathematicians defer only to God ..." - Leon M. Lederman

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**Ricky****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-12-04
- Posts: 3,791

if the equation is x^2 + bx = 0, then b is the negative location of the second root (the first being 0). In other words, -b is a root of the equation.

"In the real world, this would be a problem. But in mathematics, we can just define a place where this problem doesn't exist. So we'll go ahead and do that now..."

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**John E. Franklin****Member**- Registered: 2005-08-29
- Posts: 3,588

The larger b is, then the parabola is bent more upward as you go right?

Just a guess.

If b is negative then the parabola is bent more downward as you go right?

**igloo** **myrtilles** **fourmis**

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**mathsyperson****Moderator**- Registered: 2005-06-22
- Posts: 4,900

You're thinking of when it is something like bx².

When it is x² + bx, the graph shifts more to the left as b increases and more downward as |b| increases.

Why did the vector cross the road?

It wanted to be normal.

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