Problem 2.3.

Determine algebraically the values of x for which 15x −
2
x
> 1.
Solution: First, if we have 15x −
5
x
> 1, then
15x −
2
x
−1 > 0
Now, if we multiply both sides by x, we need to consider two cases.
Case 1: x > 0. Thus
15x −
2
x
−1 > 0 =⇒ 15x
2
−2 −x > 0 =⇒ (5x −2)(3x + 1) > 0
This means that we have to consider two sub-cases.
Case 1a: 5x −2 > 0 and 3x + 1 > 0. For this sub-case we have
x >
2
5
and x > −
1
3
Figure 8: Number line representation of x >
2
5
and x > −
1
3
.
Therefore we have: x > 0 and x >
2
5
and x > −
1
3
. In other words x ∈

2
5
, ∞

. See Figure
9.
Figure 9: Number line representation of x > 0 and x >
2
5
and x > −
1
3
.
Case 1b: 5x −2 < 0 and 3x + 1 < 0. In this sub-case we have
x <
2
5
and x < −
1
3
13
Figure 10: Number line representation of x <
2
5
and x < −
1
3
.
However, we have that x > 0. Then we cannot have
x > 0 and x <
2
5
and x < −
1
3
and therefore this sub-case has to be rejected. See Figure 11.
Figure 11: Number line representation of x > 0 and x <
2
5
and x < −
1
3
.
In other words the intersection (0, ∞) ∩

−∞,
2
5

−∞, −
1
3

is empty.
Case 2: x < 0. In this case we have the following
15x −
2
x
−1 > 0 =⇒ 15x
2
−2 −x < 0 =⇒ (5x −2)(3x + 1) < 0
Again, this means that we have to consider two sub-cases.
Case 2a: 5x −2 > 0 and 3x + 1 < 0. In this sub-case we have
x >
2
5
and x < −
1
3
Figure 12: Number line representation of x >
2
5
and x < −
1
3
.
This sub-case is rejected. There is no solution even considering that x < 0. See Figure 13.
14
Figure 13: Number line representation of x < 0 and x >
2
5
and x < −
1
3
.
This means that the intersection (−∞, 0) ∩

2
5
, ∞

−∞, −
1
3

is empty.
Case 2b: 5x −2 < 0 and 3x + 1 > 0. In this sub-case we have
x <
2
5
and x > −
1
3
Figure 14: Number line representation of x <
2
5
and x > −
1
3
.
Thus we have that x < 0 and x <
2
5
and x > −
1
3
. Therefore −
1
3
< x < 0. In other words
x ∈


1
3
,
2
5

. See Figure 15.
Figure 15: Number line representation of x < 0 and x <
2
5
and x > −
1
3
.
Consequently, we conclude fromCases 1a and 2b that 15x−
2
x
> 1 provided that
1
3
< x < 0
or x >
2
5
. That is to say x ∈


1
3
, 0

2
5
, ∞

.
15
2.1 Practice
Exercise 2.1. Determine algebraically the values of x for which 3x > 5 −
2
x
.
Exercise 2.2. Determine algebraically the values of y for which
1
y
2
−4
≤ 0.
16

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