# How to Divide Radicals – Definition and Examples

This article aims to demystify how to divide radicals, providing a clear, detailed guide on handling such operations. We’ll break down the rules, use illustrative examples, and provide insights illuminating the path to mastering this important mathematical skill.

## Defining How to Divide Radicals

Radicals, or roots, are mathematical expressions that represent a particular “root” of a number. For example, the square root of a number is a radical. When you divide radicals, you essentially divide the numbers under the root and then simplify the resulting radical if possible.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to divide radicals:

### Divide the Numbers

Divide the numbers under the radicals (radicands) if they are similar. For example, √18 / √2 = √(18/2) = √9.

Simplify the resulting radical if it’s possible. √9 = 3.

### Rationalize the Denominator

If the radical is in the denominator, you will need to rationalize the denominator. This means manipulating the expression to eliminate the radical from the denominator. For example, if you have 1 / √2, to rationalize the denominator, you multiply the numerator and the denominator by √2. This results in (√2 / 2).

It’s crucial to remember that to divide radicals, the index of the roots must be the same. You can’t directly divide a cube root by a square root without some extra steps for adjustment. It is also worth mentioning that not all radicals can be simplified, and some will still contain a radical after you’ve simplified as much as possible.

## Properties

Radicals, or roots, are mathematical expressions that represent a particular “root” of a number. For example, the square root of a number is a radical. Radicals have several key properties that stem from the basic laws of exponents since a radical can be rewritten as an exponent with a fractional value. Here are a few essential properties of radicals:

### Product Rule

A product’s square root (or any root) is the product of the square roots (or the given roots). For example, √(ab) = √a * √b.

### Quotient Rule

A quotient’s square root (or any root) is the quotient of the square roots (or the given roots). For example, √(a/b) = √a / √b.

### Power Rule

The power of a root is equal to the root of the power. In other words, the n-th root of a to the m power equals a to the m/n power. For example, √(a²) = a.

### Equality Rule

If a and b are positive numbers and a² = b², then a = b..

### Rationalizing Denominators

Radicals are often not left in the denominator of a fraction. Instead, the fraction is manipulated (multiplying the numerator and denominator by a convenient form of 1) to “rationalize the denominator” or rewrite it without a radical.

The n-th root of the n-th root of a number is equal to the (nm)-th root of the number. For example, the square root of the cube root of a is equal to the 6th root of a since 2*3 = 6.

## Exercise

Solve √50 / √2.

√(50/2) = √25

= 5

Solve √27 / √3

### Solution

√27 / √3 = √(27/3)

= √9

= 3

### Example 3

Solve √(1/100) / √(1/25)

### Solution

√(1/100) / √(1/25) = √((1/100) / (1/25))

= √(25/100)

= √(0.25)

= 0.5

Solve (2√3) / √3

### Solution

(2√3) / √3 = 2√(3/3)

= 2

### Example 5

Solve (5√12) / (2√3)

### Solution

(5√12) / (2√3) = (5/2) * √(12/3)

= (5/2) * √4

= 5

Solve (3√8) / √2

### Solution

(3√8) / √2 = 3√(8/2)

= 3√4

= 6

## Applications

The ability to divide radicals has a variety of applications across different fields. Here are a few examples:

### Engineering & Physics

In these fields, the division of radicals often comes into play when working with equations that involve roots, particularly in mechanics, fluid dynamics, or electrical engineering.

For example, when calculating the resistance in a parallel circuit, the total resistance is the reciprocal of the sum of the reciprocals of individual resistances, which might involve square roots and hence require the division of radicals.

### Computer Science

Certain algorithms or computational methods may involve operations on radicals. Dividing radicals can also arise in implementing numerical methods or simulations involving mathematical functions with radicals.

### Mathematics & Statistics

Within pure mathematics, manipulating radicals, including division, is a fundamental skill often required. In statistics, it might be used in certain calculations, such as standard deviations or other computations involving variance.

### Architecture & Design

The division of radicals can come into play in architectural and design fields, especially when dealing with geometric shapes and patterns that involve root calculations.

### Education

Understanding how to divide radicals is part of the standard curriculum in many secondary and higher education mathematics courses. It is a fundamental concept in algebra and pre-calculus.

### Economics & Finance

In these fields, the division of radicals might be used in developing or applying complex models or calculations. For instance, certain models of economic growth or financial investment might involve calculations with radicals.

In general, the ability to divide radicals is a fundamental mathematical skill that can be useful in any field that involves quantitative or mathematical analysis.