Submitted by FletchOnMaths on Sat, 07/22/2017 - 20:37

Hi, could someone please explain why the given answer to this question does not simplify the two $ \frac {\sqrt{2}} {2} $ into $ \frac {{1}} {\sqrt{2}} $ ?

The answer I found was $ x = \frac {\pm 1 \pm i} {\sqrt {2}} $ which is equivalent to the answer in the hints unless I'm missing something deep and meaningful for which I should be very glad to be enlightened :-)

## There's nothing wrong with

There's nothing wrong with writing it in either form given that a specific form hasn't been asked for. Some people prefer and might argue that rationalising the denominator of a final answer is good practice but I personally don't see a problem with an irrational denominator.

## Aha! Thanks for that, I didn

Aha! Thanks for that, I didn't know about "rationalising the denominator" so I went a bit too far and derationalised it.

Now I've googled the phrase and there's quite a few hits with full explanations. Thanks!

## Out of curiosity, was it not

Out of curiosity, was it not something you covered when studying for GCSE maths (or equivalent if you didn't do GCSE maths)?

## Ah, I am found out. You are

Ah, I am found out. You are most probably correct, however my memories of my O level maths are a bit hazy, being over thirty years old now (sheepish grin). So why am I here? Officially to support a French Bac S student who is planning on sitting STEP in summer 2018, and who has no other STEP support - but I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact I have been surprised to find that this programme is simply the most interesting, challenging, enriching and rewarding pastime :-)

## All are welcome here, Fletch!

All are welcome here, Fletch! Before I had to do STEP questions for work, I used to do them for fun :-)

## Thank you for the welcome,

Thank you for the welcome, SophieGermain, and I'm glad you have found a way to be paid to have fun :-)

Also : interesting pseudonyms on this forum, I sense a common theme of honouring heroes ; is AdmiralHopper already taken?

## Not that I know of!

Not that I know of!