Kinky Adventures in LaTeX Land: The Sum and Product of Roots of a Quadratic Equation

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\equiv \newline

\pi r^2 
\equiv \newline \pi r^2

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One of the things I don’t like about blogging is how long it can take to put together a blog post, even after it has been written, edited and polished. Aside from all the formatting required to make an entry look the way I want (see above), the other big time-suck has been adding mathematical statements (equations, formulas, expressions, etc.) to my blog. While I love MathType for its ease-of-use, using it has meant I’ve had to suffer through 1) writing math statements in the MathType Editor, 2) inserting them into a Pages document, 3) copying the said insertion into Preview, 4) exporting the Preview file as a PNG,  5) uploading the PNG to WordPress, and, finally, 6) inserting the PNG into the appropriate blog post. This is a lot of steps for something as short as, say, the area of circle (again, see above).

As such, I was happy when, several weeks ago, I stumbled onto MathJax, a Javascript engine which renders  LaTeX  “code” into professional-looking math statements. I had, for a long time, known about TeX and LaTeX as way to create math documents, but had always been satisfied with MathType to get done what I needed done. After doing a bit more investigation and discovering that WordPress already supported LaTeX,  I decided to give it a shot by using a LaTeX snippet I found here and expanding it into an entry on the sum and product of quadratic roots below.

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Given a quadratic equation in general form ax^2 + bx + c = 0, the equation’s roots are

x = {-b \pm \sqrt{b^2-4ac} \over 2a}.\newline \newline

or

x_1 = {-b + \sqrt{b^2-4ac} \over 2a}\newline \newline x_2 = {-b - \sqrt{b^2-4ac} \over 2a}\newline \newline

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