Solve Graphically

Pronunciation: /sɒlv ˈgræf ɪ kə lɪ/ ?

An equation can be solved graphically by graphing the equation on a graphing device, then reading the x-value of the equation where it crosses the y-axis. A graphical solution can only be an approximation. Typically one 'zooms in' on the x-intercept until sufficient accuracy can be read.

IterationGraphDescription
1Graph showing an intercept between -1 and -2.This is the initial graph. We will be finding the solution of the equation between -1 and -2.
2Graph showing an intercept between -1.7 and -1.8.When we zoom in on the x-intercept, we can see that the root is between -1.7 and -1.8.
3Graph showing an intercept between -1.73 and -1.74As we zoom in again, we can see that the root is between -1.73 and -1.74.
4Graph showing an intercept between -1 and -2.As we zoom in once more, the root is between -1.732 and -1.733. Since it is about 1/10 the way from -1.732 and -1.733, the value of the root is approximately -1.7321.
Example 1

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Solve Graphically. 2009-02-06. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/s/solvinggraphically.html.

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2009-02-06: Initial version (McAdams, David.)

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