8.8 Pythagorean Theorem and Irrational Numbers

In this unit, students work with geometric and symbolic representations of square and cube roots. They understand and use notation such as $\sqrt 2$ and $\sqrt[3]{5}$ for square and cube roots. They understand the terms “rational number” and “irrational number,” using long division to express fractions as decimals. They use their understanding of fractions to plot rational numbers on the number line and their understanding of approximation of irrationals by rationals to approximate the number-line location of a given irrational. Students learn (without proof) that $\sqrt 2$ is irrational. They understand two proofs of the Pythagorean Theorem—an algebraic proof that involves manipulation of two expressions for the same area and a geometric proof that involves decomposing and rearranging two squares. They use the Pythagorean Theorem in two and three dimensions, e.g., to determine lengths of diagonals of rectangles and right rectangular prisms, and to estimate distances between points in the coordinate plane.
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