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# (Back to the College Algebra Homepage)

College Algebra
Tutorial 46:
Logarithmic Equations

Learning Objectives

## 1. Solve logarithmic equations.

Introduction

In this tutorial I will step you through how to solve equations that have
logarithmic expressions. In these equations, you will notice that the variable
that we are solving for is inside the log expressions. We will rewrite the log
equation exponentially using the definition of logs to help us get the x outside of
the log. If you need a review on the definition of log functions, feel free to go to
Tutorial 43: Logarithmic Functions. Ready, set, GO!!!!!

Tutorial
Solving a Logarithmic Equation of the Form

## Step 1: Write as one log isolated on one side.

Get your log on one side everything outside of the log on the other side
of your equation using inverse operations.

Also use properties of logs to write it so that there is only one log. If
you need a review on properties of logs feel free to go to Tutorial 44:
Logarithmic Properties.

form.

## A reminder that the definition of logarithms is the logarithmic function

with base b, where b > 0 and b 0, and is defined as if and
only if .

## If you need a review on the definition of log functions, feel free to go to

Tutorial 43: Logarithmic Functions.

## Step 3: Solve for x.

Now that the variable is out of the log, solve for the variable using
inverse operations to complete the problem.

## Step 1: Write as one log isolated on one side.

This is already done for us in this problem.

form.

## *Rewrite in exponential form

*Base = 5 and exponent = 3

*5 cubed is 125
*Solve for x

## *Use the product rule to write as one log

*one log is isolated

## Step 2: Use the definition of logarithms to write in exponential

form.
*Rewrite in exponential form
*Base = 10 and exponent = 2

## Remember that when there is no base written on a log, that means it is

the common log, or log base 10. If you need a review on common logs
feel free to go to Tutorial 43: Logarithmic Functions.

*Solve for x

## *Set 2nd factor = 0

Since -25 would create a negative number inside both logs in this
problem and we CANNOT take the log of a negative number, we
will have to throw out x = -25 as one of our solutions.

## Example 3: Solve the logarithmic

places.
Step 1: Write as one log isolated on one side.

## *Use the quotient rule to write as one

log
*one log is isolated

form.

## *Rewrite in exponential form

*Base = 3 and exponent = 2

*3 squared is 9
*Solve for x

## The equation that we had to solve in step 3 had a rational expression in

it. If you need a review on solving equations with rational expressions
feel free to go to Tutorial 15: Equations with Rational Expressions.

form.

## *Rewrite in exponential form

*Base = e and exponent = 1

Remember that when you have ln, that means it is the natural log, or
log base e. If you need a review on natural logs feel free to go to
Tutorial 43: Logarithmic Functions.

## Step 3: Solve for x.

*Square both sides to get rid of the radical

*Solve for x

## *Use the calculator to find e squared

The equation that we had to solve in step 3 had a square root in it. If
you need a review on solving equations with radicals feel free to go to
Tutorial 19: Radical Equations and Equations Involving Rational
Exponents.

Practice Problems

These are practice problems to help bring you to the next level. It will allow
you to check and see if you have an understanding of these types of problems.
Math works just like anything else, if you want to get good at it, then you
need to practice it. Even the best athletes and musicians had help along the
way and lots of practice, practice, practice, to get good at their sport or
instrument. In fact there is no such thing as too much practice.

To get the most out of these, you should work the problem out on your own
well as any steps that went into finding that answer.

1a. 1b.

1c. 1d.

## Need Extra Help on These Topics?

The following are webpages that can assist you in the topics that were

http://www.purplemath.com/modules/solvelog.htm

http://www.sosmath.com/algebra/solve/solve8/s81/s81.html
This webpage gives an example of solving a logarithmic
equation.

## Go to Get Help Outside the Classroom found in Tutorial 1: How to Succeed

in a Math Class for some more suggestions.