How do you simplify #-sqrt(144)#?

1 Answer

Answer:

The negative is really -1 times the square root, so do the square root first, multiply by -1 and get
#(-1)(12)=-12#

Explanation:

Let's start with the original:

#-sqrt144#

The negative sign is really a #-1# multiplying the square root, so let's write the expression this way:

#(-1)(sqrt144)#

We can now take the square root of 144:

#(-1)(12)=-12#

I think this question hinged on the fact that "you can't take the square root of a negative number" (which in a higher level class you will learn that you can). A question with the negative in the square root would look like this:

#sqrt(-144)#

And just for fun let's show what you do in this case:

#sqrt(-144)=sqrt(144)sqrt(-1)=12sqrt(-1)#

And in that advanced class you will learn that #sqrt(-1)=i#, so the answer becomes

#sqrt(-144)=sqrt(144)sqrt(-1)=12sqrt(-1)=12i#