In your algebra classes, if a system of equations had infinitely many kind of options, you would certainly sindicate write “infinitely many solutions” and also relocate on to the next trouble. However, tbelow is a lot more going on when we say “infinitely many type of solutions”. In this write-up, we will check out this idea via general services.

You are watching: Find the general solution of the given system.

Table of contents:

Writing out a general solutionFinding specific services given a general solutionSummary of the steps

Writing out a basic solution

First, let’s testimonial just just how to create out a basic solution to a given system of equations. To do this, we will certainly look at an example.


Find the general solution to the device of equations:

(eginarraycx_1 + 2x_2 + 8x_3 + 18x_4 = 11\x_1 + x_2 + 5x_3 +11x_4 = 10\endarray)

Similar to any system of equations, we will certainly usage an augmented matrix and also row minimize.

(left<eginarrayc1 & 2 & 8 & 18 & 11\1 & 1 & 5 & 11 & 10\endarray ight>simleft<eginarraycccc1 & 0 & 2 & 4 & 9\0 & 1 & 3 & 7 & 1\endarray ight>)

Now, write out the equations from this reduced matrix.

(eginarraycx_1 + 2x_3 + 4x_4 = 9\x_2 + 3x_3 + 7x_4 = 1\endarray)

Notice in the matrix, that the leading ones (the initially nonzero entry in each row) are in the columns for (x_1) and (x_2).

Solve for these variables.

(eginarraycx_1 = 9 – 2x_3 – 4x_4\x_2 = 1 – 3x_3 – 7x_4\endarray)

The staying variables are free variables, meaning, that they can take on any kind of value. The values of (x_1) and (x_2) are based upon the value of these 2 variables. In the basic solution, you want to note this.

General solution:

(oxedeginarraylx_1 = 9 – 2x_3 – 4x_4\x_2 = 1 – 3x_3 – 7x_4\x_3 ext is free\x_4 ext is free\endarray)

Tright here are infinitely many kind of solutions to this system of equations, all making use of different values of the 2 cost-free variables.

Finding specific solutions

Suppose that you wanted to give an instance of a certain solution to the system of equations above. Tbelow are infinitely many, so you have actually many choices! You simply have to take into consideration possible worths of the totally free variables.

Example solution


(eginarraylx_3 = 0\x_4 = 1\endarray)

There was no special factor to pick 0 and also 1. Aobtain, this would certainly work-related for ANY value you pick for these two variables.

Using these worths, a solution is:

(eginarraylx_1 = 9 – 2x_3 – 4x_4 = 9 – 2(0) – 4(1)\x_2 = 1 – 3x_3 – 7x_4 = 1 – 3(0) – 7(1)\x_3 = 0\x_4 = 1\endarray ightarrowoxedeginarraylx_1 = 5\x_2 = -6\x_3 = 0\x_4 = 1\endarray)

You have the right to check these worths in the original system of equations to be sure:

(eginarraylx_1 + 2x_2 + 8x_3 + 18x_4 = 11\x_1 + x_2 + 5x_3 +11x_4 = 10\endarray ightarroweginarrayl(5) + 2(-6) + 8(0) + 18(1) = 11 ext (true)\(5) + (-6) + 5(0) +11(1) = 10 ext (true)\endarray)

Since both equations are true for these worths, we recognize that we have actually found among the many, many remedies. If we wanted to find even more solutions, we can simply pick different worths for the two free variables (x_1) and also (x_2).

See more: How To Test A Metal Halide Ballast With A Multimeter ? Test Metal Halide Bulb With Ohm Meter

Outline of the steps

Given a system of equations, the procedures for composing out the general solution are:

Row minimize the augmented matrix for the device.Write out the equations from the row-decreased matrix.Solve for the variables that have a leading one in their column.Label the remaining variables as complimentary variables.