There are two ways to solve a quadratic equation: one way is to factor it and another way is to apply the quadratic formula (#(-b+-sqrt(b^2-4ac))/(2a)#). Factoring the equation into the form of #(x+a)(x+b)# where a and b are constants gives the two roots of the equation to be #a# and #b#. However, when the solution to a quadratic equation is not a rational number (that is, it can not be factored), the quadratic formula is the only way to solve it.