Question

Solve the cube root equation

\sqrt[3]{x+302} - \sqrt[3]{x-302} = 4

Collected in the board: Cube root

Steven Zheng posted 5 days ago

Answer

Let

a = \sqrt[3]{x+302}
(1)
b = \sqrt[3]{x-302}
(2)

Then

a - b = 4
(3)

Difference of a and b raised to the power of 3 gives

a^3 - b^3 = 604
(4)

Factor LHS using difference of cubes formula

(a - b)(a^2+ab+b^2) = 604
(5)

Substitute (3) to (5) and simplify

a^2+ab+b^2 = 151
(6)

Square of equation (3) gives

(a -b )^2 = 16

Expand LHS

a^2 - 2ab +b^2 = 16
(7)

Substract (7) from (6) and solve for ab

ab = \dfrac{1}{3}(\dfrac{2\cdot 302}{4} - 4^2 ) = 45
(8)

Substituting ab to (6) gives

a^2+b^2 = 151 - ab = 106
(9)

Construct a perfect square binomial with (9) and (8)

(a+b)^2 = a^2+b^2+2ab
(a+b)^2 = 106 +2\cdot 45 = 196

Taking square root of both sides gives

a +b = \pm14
(10)

Now we get two systems of equations

Case 1

\begin{cases} a+b = 14 \\ a - b =4 \end{cases}

which gives

\begin{cases} a= 9 \\ b =12 \end{cases}

Then

x = a^3 - 302 = 9^3 - 302 = 427

Case 2

\begin{cases} a+b = -14 \\ a - b =4 \end{cases}

which gives

\begin{cases} a= -5 \\ b =-9 \end{cases}

Then

x = a^3 - 302 = -5^3 - 302 = -427

In summary, we get two solutions for x.

x = 427 \text{ or }x = -427


Steven Zheng posted 5 days ago

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