10.5: Square Root Applications
What if a penny were dropped from the top of the Washington Monument at a height of 555 feet? How long would it take for the penny to reach the ground? After completing this Concept, you'll be able to use quadratic functions and square roots to solve realworld applications like this one.
Watch This
CK12 Foundation: 1005S Applications Using Square Roots
Guidance
We can use the methods we’ve learned so far in this section to find approximate solutions to quadratic equations, when taking the square root doesn’t give an exact answer.
Example A
Solve the following quadratic equations.
a)
b)
Solution
a)
Answer:
b)
Answer:
Example B
Solve the following quadratic equations.
a)
b)
Solution
a)
Answer:
b)
Answer:
Solve Applications Using Quadratic Functions and Square Roots
Quadratic equations are needed to solve many realworld problems. In this section, we’ll examine problems about objects falling under the influence of gravity. When objects are dropped from a height, they have no initial velocity; the force that makes them move towards the ground is due to gravity. The acceleration of gravity on earth is given by the equation
The negative sign indicates a downward direction. We can assume that gravity is constant for the problems we’ll be examining, because we will be staying close to the surface of the earth. The acceleration of gravity decreases as an object moves very far from the earth. It is also different on other celestial bodies such as the moon.
The equation that shows the height of an object in free fall is
The term
Example C
How long does it take a ball to fall from a roof to the ground 25 feet below?
Solution
Since only positive time makes sense in this case, it takes the ball 1.25 seconds to fall to the ground.
Example D
A rock is dropped from the top of a cliff and strikes the ground 7.2 seconds later. How high is the cliff in meters?
Solution
The cliff is 254 meters high.
Watch this video for help with the Examples above.
CK12 Foundation: 1005 Applications Using Square Roots
Vocabulary
 The solutions of a quadratic equation are often called the roots or zeros.
Guided Practice
Victor throws an apple out of a window on the
Solution
Let’s find the time of flight for each piece of fruit.
Apple:
Orange:
The orange was thrown one second later, so add 1 second to the time of the orange:
The apple hits the ground first. It gets there 0.38 seconds faster than the orange.
Practice
Solve the following quadratic equations.

x2=11 
5x2=0.01 
x2−6=0 
x2−20=0 
3x2+14=0 
(x−6)2=5 
(x+10)2=2  Susan drops her camera in the river from a bridge that is 400 feet high. How long is it before she hears the splash?
 It takes a rock 5.3 seconds to splash in the water when it is dropped from the top of a cliff. How high is the cliff in meters?
 Nisha drops a rock from the roof of a building 50 feet high. Ashaan drops a quarter from the top story window, 40 feet high, exactly half a second after Nisha drops the rock. Which hits the ground first?
quadratic function
A quadratic function is a function that can be written in the form , where , , and are real constants and .Square Root
The square root of a term is a value that must be multiplied by itself to equal the specified term. The square root of 9 is 3, since 3 * 3 = 9.Image Attributions
Here you'll learn how to approximate the solutions of quadratic equations involving square roots. You'll also learn how to solve applications using quadratic functions and square roots.
Concept Nodes:
quadratic function
A quadratic function is a function that can be written in the form , where , , and are real constants and .Square Root
The square root of a term is a value that must be multiplied by itself to equal the specified term. The square root of 9 is 3, since 3 * 3 = 9.