# Partial Fractions

## Understanding Partial Fractions for Integration

When working with fractions that have multiple factors in the denominator, we can break them down into smaller fractions with one factor as the denominator. This technique, known as partial fractions, simplifies complex fractions and makes them easier to integrate.

For example, instead of dealing with one complex fraction, we can "un-simplify" it into two simpler fractions by breaking it down into its linear factors.

There are two main methods for finding partial fractions - substitution and equating coefficients. Let's take a closer look at each method.

## Finding Partial Fractions Using Substitution

In the substitution method, we set the denominator equal to zero and solve for the corresponding numerator. For instance:

This allows us to determine the values for x, which we can then plug into the original equation to find the numerator. This approach simplifies the process of solving for partial fractions.

## Examples of Partial Fractions

Next, let's look at a more complex example using the substitution method.

Step 1: Factorize the denominator.

Now, let's consider another method for finding partial fractions - equating coefficients.

## Finding Partial Fractions Using Equating Coefficients

In this method, we expand the brackets of an equation like:

and equate the coefficients to solve for the unknown variables:

This gives us the final partial fraction:

## Key Takeaways

• Partial fractions make it possible to integrate more complicated fractions.
• There are two methods for finding partial fractions - substitution and equating coefficients.
• Substitution involves setting the denominator to zero and solving for the numerator.
• Equating coefficients involves expanding brackets and solving for unknown variables.

## In Conclusion

While partial fractions may seem intimidating, they can become a valuable tool for solving integration problems with practice. Remember to factorize the denominator and solve for unknown variables using substitution or equating coefficients. By breaking down a fraction into smaller parts, the integration process becomes much more manageable.

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