If you have an equation
ax2+bx+c = 0
the roots of the equation are found by the formula:
The expression b2 - 4ac is
called the discriminant . Its value tells
you whether you have no roots, 1 root or 2 roots.
Case 1: b2 - 4ac <0
If it is less than 0, that means you are trying to find the square root
of a negative number. Ergo, no roots. An example is
Case 2: b2 - 4ac = 0
The square root of 0 is 0. One root. Period. An example is
x2-2x+1 . The only root is
x = 1 .
Case 2: b2 - 4ac > 0
Here we have 2 roots. An example is
2x2-x-15 . We have
a = 2 , b = -1 and
c = -15 . Plugging these numbers into the
formula, one root is 3 and the other is -5/2.