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**PatternMan****Member**- Registered: 2014-03-08
- Posts: 199

When you rearrange for a it doesn't matter if there are two t's on the other side. However if I wanted to isolate t I would have to get them both on one side and factor right? In this case is there any way to isolate t?

*Last edited by PatternMan (2015-03-06 07:30:41)*

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See the quadratic formula.

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**PatternMan****Member**- Registered: 2014-03-08
- Posts: 199

but zetafunc there are 3 unkown variables in this equation? Usually when you use the quadractic formula they only have an x unknown.

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**bobbym****bumpkin**- From: Bumpkinland
- Registered: 2009-04-12
- Posts: 109,606

You should be able to isolate t in this case but that is not always possible.

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**bob bundy****Administrator**- Registered: 2010-06-20
- Posts: 8,445

hi PatternMan

The same algebraic equality may be either an equation or a formula. The same rules of algebra apply to both. If this was an equation you wouldn't be able to solve it as there are too many unknowns.

But it is a formula. You treat all the letters except the 'subject' as if you do know their values. If you re-arrange a formula, you make a new letter into the subject. You then assume that all the other letters have known values.

Because t squared occurs in the formula, it is a quadratic in t and you'd have to use factorisation, the quadratic formula or the method of completing the square to get t as the subject.

This looks like one of the equations* of motion in Newtonian mechanics. The minus indicates a deceleration of magnitude 'a'. There are other equations that can also be used, so, depending on what letters you 'know', it may be possible to get t using another of the equations*.

* They are called the equations of motion, but in view of what I've said above, they should really be called the formulas of motion.

Bob

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