Introduction Astronomy Tools Concepts 1. Electromagnetic Spectrum 2. Atmosphere Limitations 3. Space Observations Equipment 1. Telescopes 2. Radio 3. Space Tools 4. Photography 5. Spectroscopy 6. Computers 7. Advanced Methods 8. Radio Astronomy Basic Mathematics Algebra Statistics Geometry Scientific Notation Log Scales Calculus Physics Concepts - Basic Units of Measure - Mass & Density - Temperature - Velocity & Acceleration - Force, Pressure & Energy - Atoms - Quantum Physics - Nature of Light Formulas - Brightness - Cepheid Rulers - Distance - Doppler Shift - Frequency & Wavelength - Hubble's Law - Inverse Square Law - Kinetic Energy - Luminosity - Magnitudes - Convert Mass to Energy - Kepler & Newton - Orbits - Parallax - Planck's Law - Relativistic Redshift - Relativity - Schwarzschild Radius  - Synodic & Sidereal Periods - Sidereal Time - Small Angle Formula - Stellar Properties  - Stephan-Boltzmann Law - Telescope Related - Temperature - Tidal Forces - Wien's Law Constants Computer Models Additional Resources 1. Advanced Topics 2. Guest Contributions
Basic Mathematics - Algebra

Algebra is a type of mathematics that is used to determine unknown variables. This section is not designed to teach Algebra, but to help remind what Algebra looks like (I know for me, the last time I looked at a variety of Algebra problems was well over 10 years ago!).

The above sample is an example of a simple algebra problem. To solve this equation, we must know at least 2 of the variables:

Proportions are just another version of ratios, and are found in the following manner:

A monomial is an expression for a single number variable: a=5 for example. Algebra is used to solve a combination of monomials like binomials and polynomials. The method for solving a binomial or polynomial equation is called FOIL (First, Outer, Inner, Last).

A binomial:

A polynomial:

Other Algebraic techniques include a distribution function. This is used to simplify two or more terms in order to make a problem easier to work:

Graphing is also a part of Algebra, and two of the famous types of equations that are used to plot a graph is the Linear Equation and the Quadratic Equation.

A linear equation is used to plot a single line based on a slope:

 To the right is a graph that plots the following linear equation:y = 2x + 1

A quadratic equation is used to plot curves and parabolas based on more than one variable:

 To the left is a graph of the following quadratic equation:y = 2x2 + 2x - 2