It's a quadratic equation and the x^2 is x squared
The goal here is to solve for the unknown variable, x, when the equation is equal to zero. Since the equation is a 2nd degree polynomial function (or a quadratic function), we first want to change it into a product of two binomials by factoring. Once we have done that, we can apply the zero product property to solve for x.
x2 - 4x - 5 = 0
(x - 5)(x + 1) = 0
x - 5 = 0 and x + 1 = 0
x = 5 x = -1