Chapter 7 : Systems of Equations
This is a fairly short chapter devoted to solving systems of equations. A system of equations is a set of equations each containing one or more variable.
We will focus exclusively on systems of two equations with two unknowns and three equations with three unknowns although the methods looked at here can be easily extended to more equations. Also, with the exception of the last section we will be dealing only with systems of linear equations.
Here is a list of the topics in this section.
Linear Systems with Two Variables – In this section we will solve systems of two equations and two variables. We will use the method of substitution and method of elimination to solve the systems in this section. We will also introduce the concepts of inconsistent systems of equations and dependent systems of equations.
Linear Systems with Three Variables – In this section we will work a couple of quick examples illustrating how to use the method of substitution and method of elimination introduced in the previous section as they apply to systems of three equations.
Augmented Matrices – In this section we will look at another method for solving systems. We will introduce the concept of an augmented matrix. This will allow us to use the method of Gauss-Jordan elimination to solve systems of equations. We will use the method with systems of two equations and systems of three equations.
More on the Augmented Matrix – In this section we will revisit the cases of inconsistent and dependent solutions to systems and how to identify them using the augmented matrix method.
Nonlinear Systems – In this section we will take a quick look at solving nonlinear systems of equations. A nonlinear system of equations is a system in which at least one of the equations is not linear, i.e. has degree of two or more. Note as well that the discussion here does not cover all the possible solution methods for nonlinear systems. Solving nonlinear systems is often a much more involved process than solving linear systems.