Absolute values are used for determining the magnitude of a number, so they are often used for distance measurements. They are also sometimes used for financial transactions. Absolute values are used when negative values are not possible.
Know MoreNo matter what direction it is moving, a car is also moving in a positive direction; it can never move at a negative speed. However, when a car is traveling toward a particular destination, its velocity toward it can be negative. Because of this, a car's speed is equal to the absolute value of its velocity if it is traveling directly to or away from the target.
This is because velocity is a vector value, and speed is a scalar value. Scalar units measure the overall speed of an object, which must be positive. Vector units measure speed and direction, so they can be negative.
Absolute values are also useful in some financial scenarios. The money involved in a transaction, for example, is always positive, so the absolute value can help people determine the total amount of money that moved. Stock exchanges and other financial entities are often analyzed, in part, by how much money is moved in a particular period of time, and absolute values are needed to calculate this amount.
Learn more about AlgebraThe Pythagorean theorem is used often in construction, in engineering, in architecture, in design, in art and in aeronautics. The theorem states that, given a right triangle with sides a, b and c, where c represents the hypotenuse (or longest side), the sum of the square of the two sides (a squared plus b squared) is always equal to c squared.
Full Answer >An example of using an integer as an absolute value in real life is describing the distance, to or from something, using a whole number. For instance, someone would say they are 5 miles from Tucson or 5 miles past Tucson. In both cases, the person would be describing the distance as a positive number.
Full Answer >The motion of an object that’s thrown 3m up at a velocity of 14 m/s can be described using the polynomial -5tsquared + 14t + 3 = 0. Factorizing the quadratic equation gives the time it takes for the object to hit the ground. Polynomials apply in fields such as engineering, construction and pharmaceuticals.
Full Answer >The formulas of algebra are used every day in real life when distance needs to be determined, volumes in containers need to be figured out and when sale prices need to be calculated. When using a recipe and doubling it or cutting it in half, algebra is used to determine the exact amount of ingredients. Basic algebraic equations are used almost every day although people often do not realize it.
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