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If 1 <= a <= 2 and 1 <= b <= 2, what is the least possible value of (a + b)(b - a)? Express your answer as a common fraction.

 Aug 25, 2021
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We know that (a+b)(b-a) simplifies to b^2-a^2 so the least possible value is if b=1 and a=2:

1-4=$\boxed{-3}$

 Aug 25, 2021
edited by SparklingWater2  Aug 25, 2021

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