2. Newton's Method for Solving Equations
by M. Bourne
Computers use iterative methods to solve equations. The process involves making a guess at the true solution and then applying a formula to get a better guess and so on until we arrive at an acceptable approximation for the solution.
If we wish to find x so that `f(x) = 0` (a common type of problem), then we guess some value x1 which is close to the desired solution and then we get a better approximation using Newton's Method:
[This is just based on the point-slope form of a straight line].
Need Graph Paper?
Find the root of
2x2 − x − 2 = 0
between `1` and `2`.
Functions with Multiple Roots
Many functions have multiple roots, so you need to understand what is going on and give the computer a guess close to your desired answer.
Solve 1− t2 + 2t = 0
[Scientific Notebook cannot find the solution directly for us. We need to know how to properly use the tool to get the solution, either with graphs or setting up Newton's Method. This could involve giving an initial estimate for the root.]
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