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## #1 2005-12-13 08:31:48

sarah
Guest

### second order functions

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

## #2 2005-12-13 08:32:41

sarah
Guest

### Re: second order functions

whoops

x^2 + bx , that is

## #3 2005-12-13 08:50:55

MathsIsFun
Registered: 2005-01-21
Posts: 7,686

### Re: second order functions

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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## #4 2005-12-13 09:33:37

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

### Re: second order functions

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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## #5 2005-12-13 10:28:37

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

### Re: second order functions

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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## #6 2005-12-13 12:06:20

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

### Re: second order functions

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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