Polynomials are expressions like $15x^3 - 14x^2 + 8$. Questions tagged with this concern common operations on polynomials, like adding, multiplying, polynomial long division, factoring and solving for roots.

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23
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9answers
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why is $\sum\limits_{k=1}^{n} k^m$ a polynomial with degree $m+1$ in $n$

why is $\sum\limits_{k=1}^{n} k^m$ a polynomial with degree $m+1$ in $n$? I know this is well-known. But how to prove it rigorously? Even mathematical induction does not seem so straight-forward. ...
110
votes
16answers
10k views

Why can ALL quadratic equations be solved by the quadratic formula?

In algebra, all quadratic problems can be solved by using the quadratic formula. I read a couple of books, and they told me only HOW and WHEN to use this formula, but they don't tell me WHY I can use ...
16
votes
2answers
4k views

Number of monic irreducible polynomials of degree $p$ over finite fields

Suppose $F$ is a field s.t $\left|F\right|=q$. Take $p$ to be some prime. How many monic irreducible polynomials of degree $p$ can exist over $F$? Thanks!
15
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I prove that $x^p-x+a$ is irreducible in a field with $p$ elements when $a\neq 0$?

How do I prove that $x^p-x+a$ is irreducible in a field with $p$ elements when $a\neq 0$? Right now I'm able to prove that it has no roots and that it is separable, but I have not a clue as to ...
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Reed Solomon Polynomial Generator

I am developing a sample program to generate a 2D Barcode. And i am using reed solomon error correction code. By Going through this article i am developing the program. But i couldn't understand how ...
1
vote
4answers
394 views

Solving a recurrence of polynomials

I am wondering how to solve a recurrence of this type $$p_1(x) = x$$ $$p_2(x) = 1-x^2$$ and $$p_{n+2}(x) = -xp_{n+1}(x)+p_{n}(x).$$ I am wondering, how could one solve such a recurrence. One way ...
33
votes
7answers
44k views

Is there a general formula for solving 4th degree equations?

There is a general formula for solving quadratic equations, namely the Quadratic Formula. For third degree equations of the form $ax^3+bx^2+cx+d=0$, there is a set of thee equations: one for each ...
3
votes
4answers
395 views

Factoring $ac$ to factor $ax^2+bx+c$

I was watching a first-year high-school-algebra student struggle with factoring quadratics last night. Given a quadratic $ax^2+bx+c$ (I'll give you the exact example in a moment), her method — ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

reducible polynomial modulo every prime

how to show that $x^4+1$ is irreducible in $\mathbb Z[x]$ but it is reducible modulo every prime $p$. For example i know that $\mod 2 $, $x^4+1=(x+1)^4$ . Also $\mod 3$,we have that $0,1,2$ are not ...
46
votes
5answers
1k views

Why are the solutions of polynomial equations so unconstrained over the quaternions?

An $n$th-degree polynomial has at most $n$ distinct zeroes in the complex numbers. But it may have an uncountable set of zeroes in the quaternions. For example, $x^2+1$ has two zeroes in $\mathbb ...
4
votes
4answers
669 views

Irreducibility of $X^{p-1} + \cdots + X+1$

Can someone give me a hint how to the irreducibility of $X^{p-1} + \cdots + X+1$, where $p$ is a prime, in $\mathbb{Z}[X]$ ? Our professor gave us already one, namely to substitute $X$ with ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

How many irreducible polynomials of degree $n$ exist over $\mathbb{F}_p$?

I know that for every $n\in\mathbb{N}$, $n\ge 1$, there exists $p(x)\in\mathbb{F}_p[x]$ s.t. $\deg p(x)=n$ and $p(x)$ is irreducible over $\mathbb{F}_p$. I am interested in counting how many such ...
23
votes
2answers
1k views

Polynomials irreducible over $\mathbb{Q}$ but reducible over $\mathbb{F}_p$ for every prime $p$

Let $f(x) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$. If we reduce the coefficents of $f(x)$ modulo $p$, where $p$ is prime, we get a polynomial $f^*(x) \in \mathbb{F}_p[x]$. Then if $f^*(x)$ is irreducible and has the same ...
46
votes
7answers
5k views

Prove every odd integer is the difference of two squares

I know that I should use the definition of an odd integer ($2k+1$), but that's about it. Thanks in advance!
23
votes
2answers
2k views

Is factoring polynomials as hard as factoring integers?

There seems to be a consensus that factorization of integers is hard (in some precise computational sense.) Is it known whether polynomial factorization is computationally easy or hard? One thing I ...
3
votes
7answers
298 views

Test for an Integer Solution

This came up an a training piece for the Putnam Competition and also in Ireland and Rosen. The question posed was basically: Let $p(x)$ be a polynomial with integer coefficients satisfying that ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Zero divisor in $R[x]$

Let $R$ be commutative ring with no (nonzero) nilpotent elements. If $f(x) = a_0+a_1x+\cdots+a_nx^n$ in $R[x]$ is a zero divisor, how do I show there's an element $b \ne 0$ in $R$ such that ...
37
votes
5answers
3k views

Continuity of the roots of a polynomial in terms of its coefficients

It's commonly stated that the roots of a polynomial are a continuous function of the coefficients. How is this statement formalized? I would assume it's by restricting to polynomials of a fixed ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Methods to check if an ideal of a polynomial ring is prime or at least radical

I am looking for methods to check whether a given ideal in $K[x_0,\dots,x_n]$ is prime. I mean something you can effectively use in some concrete non-trivial example. To be more explicit, I am working ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

symmetric polynomials and the Newton identities

I want to write $P(x,y,z)=yx^{3}+zx^{3}+xy^{3}+zy^{3}+xz^{3}+yz^{3}$ in terms of elementary symmetric polynomials, but I'm getting stuck at the first step. I know I should follow the proof of the ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

How to factor the quadratic polynomial $2x^2-5xy-y^2$?

How do I factor this polynomial: $2x^2-5xy-y^2$ ?
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is it so hard to find the roots of polynomial equations?

The question that follows was inspired by this question: When trying to solve for the roots of a polynomial equation, the quadratic formula is much more simple than the cubic formula and the cubic ...
13
votes
1answer
193 views

Polynomial $P(x,y)$ with $\inf_{\mathbb{R}^2} P=0$, but without any point where $P=0$

Recently I've came across such problem: give a polynomial $P(x,y)$, with $\inf_{\mathbb{R}^2} P=0$, but there is no point on the plane where $P=0$. I couldn't solve it after a day, and seriously doubt ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Polynomial approximation of circle or ellipse

Trying again, with a somewhat simpler sounding question, since my previous one (Generalizations of equi-oscillation criterion) got zero response: Let $F:[0,1] \to R^2$ be a parametric polynomial ...
12
votes
3answers
935 views

Why are polynomials defined to be “formal”?

Despite the fact that $\forall n, n^3 + 2n \equiv 0 \pmod 3$, I understand that $n^3 + 2n$ (considered as a polynomial with coefficients in $\mathbb Z/3\mathbb Z$) is not equal to the zero polynomial. ...
9
votes
5answers
290 views

Constructing a degree 4 rational polynomial satisfying $f(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}) = 0$

Goal: Find $f \in \mathbb{Q}[x]$ such that $f(\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3}) = 0$. A direct approach is to look at the following $$ \begin{align} (\sqrt{2}+\sqrt{3})^2 &= 5+2\sqrt{6} \\ ...
4
votes
1answer
373 views

rational angles with sines expressible with radicals

An angle x is rational when measured in degrees. sin(x) is can be written using radicals. What are the conditions on x? If nested square roots are allowed? What I know so far: If sin(x) can be ...
8
votes
2answers
821 views

Finding roots of polynomials with rational coefficients

I'm looking for a general approach (or approaches) for finding the roots of polynomials with rational coefficients of higher degrees than $4$. The problem is that I need to find the exact roots and ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Why $x^{p^n}-x+1$ is irreducible in ${\mathbb{F}_p}$ only when $n=1$ or $n=p=2$

I have a question, I think it concerns with field theory. Why the polynomial $$x^{p^n}-x+1$$ is irreducible in ${\mathbb{F}_p}$ only when $n=1$ or $n=p=2$? Thanks in advance. It bothers me for ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Vandermonde Determinant

This is an exercise from Ian Stewart's Galois Theory, $3^{rd}$ edition: If $z_1,z_2,\ldots,z_n$ are distinct complex numbers, show that the determinant $$D=\left|\begin{array}[cccc] ...
7
votes
0answers
464 views

Enestrom-Kakeya Theorem [duplicate]

The Enestrom-Kakeya theorem states that all roots of the polynomial: $$p(z):=\sum_{k=0}^n a_kz^k$$ lie outside the open unit disk if the sequence $(a_k)$ is positive and decreasing. A proof can be ...
4
votes
2answers
231 views

For what $(n,k)$ there exists a polynomial $p(x) \in F_2[x]$ s.t. $\deg(p)=k$ and $p$ divides $x^n-1$?

For what $(n,k)$ there exists a polynomial $p(x) \in F_2[x]$ s.t. $\deg(p)=k$ and $p$ divides $x^n-1$? Motivation: if exists $p(x)$, then ideal generated by $p(x)$ is "cyclic error correcting code". ...
4
votes
7answers
922 views

How do I come up with a function to count a pyramid of apples?

My algebra book has a quick practical example at the beginning of the chapter on polynomials and their functions. Unfortunately it just says "this is why polynomial functions are important" and moves ...
5
votes
2answers
337 views

Eisenstein Criterion with a twist

As opposed to the generic polynomial form for utilizing the Eisenstein Criterion ($a_nx^n+a_{n-1}x^{n-1}+\dots+a_0\in\mathbb{Z}[x]$ is irreducible in $\mathbb{Q}$) how do we prove that if $p$ is a ...
9
votes
4answers
1k views

showing that $n$th cyclotomic polynomial $\Phi_n(x)$ is irreducible over $\mathbb{Q}$

I studied the cyclotomic extension using Fraleigh's text. To prove that Galois group of the $n$th cyclotomic extension has order $\phi(n)$( $\phi$ is the Euler's phi function.), the writer assumed, ...
11
votes
5answers
747 views

$x^2 +y^2 + z^2$ is irreducible in $\mathbb C [x,y,z]$

Is $x^2 +y^2 + z^2$ irreducible in $\mathbb C [x,y,z]$? As $(x^2+y^2+z^2)= (x+y+z)^2- 2(xy+yz+zx)$, $$(x^2+y^2+z^2)=\left(x+y+z+\sqrt{2(xy+yz+zx)}\right)\left(x+y+z-\sqrt{2(xy+yz+zx)}\right).$$ ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Create polynomial coefficients from its roots

Given some roots : $r_1,r_2,\ldots,r_n$, how can we reconstruct polynomial coefficients? I know the Horner scheme and that we can just go backwards receiving those coefficients. But I'm curious if ...
5
votes
3answers
770 views

Why are Vandermonde matrices invertible?

A Vandermonde-matrix is a matrix of this form: $$\begin{pmatrix} x_0^0 & \cdots & x_0^n \\ \vdots & \ddots & \vdots \\ x_n^0 & \cdots & x_n^n \end{pmatrix} \in ...
4
votes
2answers
713 views

Proof the Legendre polynomial $P_n$ has $n$ distinct real zeros

I need a proof to show that the inequality $m < n$ leads to a contradiction and $P_n$ has $n$ distinct real roots, all of which lie in the open interval $(-1, 1)$.
7
votes
4answers
278 views

Irreducibility issue [duplicate]

This is a homework question. Given $f(x)=x^{p-1}+x^{p-2}+\cdots+x+1$, where $p$ is any prime. Prove that $f(x)$ is irreducible over $\mathbb{Z}[x]$? Any idea, hint, etc? Hint given by my book was ...
5
votes
1answer
840 views

Why not write the solutions of a cubic this way?

For the solution of the cubic equation $x^3 + px + q = 0$ Cardano wrote it as: $$\sqrt[3]{-\frac{q}{2} + \sqrt{\frac{q^2}{4} + \frac{p^3}{27}}}+\sqrt[3]{-\frac{q}{2} - \sqrt{\frac{q^2}{4} + ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Irreducible polynomial of $\mathrm{GF}(2^{16})$

I'm implementing some code for the Galois field $\mathrm{GF}(2^{16})$. Which irreducible polynomial do you recommend that I use?
6
votes
3answers
680 views

Three-variable system of simultaneous equations

$x + y + z = 4$ $x^2 + y^2 + z^2 = 4$ $x^3 + y^3 + z^3 = 4$ Any ideas on how to solve for $(x,y,z)$ satisfying the three simultaneous equations, provided there can be both real and complex ...
5
votes
2answers
428 views

Polynomial $p(a) = 1$, why does it have at most 2 integer roots?

The question that I am trying to answer is : Suppose is $p(x)$ is a polynomial with integer coefficients. Show that if $p(a) = 1$ for some integer a then $p(x)$ has at most two integer roots. I have ...
4
votes
2answers
356 views

Meaning of $\mathbb{R}[x]$

I ran into this expression in a paper I was reading, and I'm confused about part of the meaning. Here $u$ and $v$ are two polynomials. $$u, v \in \mathbb{R}[x]$$ I'm not really familiar with usage ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

Methods to see if a polynomial is irreducible

Given a polynomial over a field, what are the methods to see it is irreducible? Only two comes to my mind now. First is Eisenstein criterion. Another is that if a polynomial is irreducible mod p then ...
18
votes
1answer
321 views

$[(x-a_1)(x-a_2) \cdots (x-a_n)]^2 +1$ is irreducible over $\mathbb Q$

Suppose that $a_1,a_2, \cdots, a_n$ are $n$ different integers. Then $[(x-a_1)(x-a_2) \cdots (x-a_n)]^2 +1$ is irreducible over $\mathbb Q$. I've no idea why it is true. Thanks very much.
9
votes
1answer
282 views

$\epsilon>0$ there is a polynomial $p$ such that $|f(x)-e^{-x}p|<\epsilon\forall x\in[0,\infty)$

Could any one tell me how to solve this one? Given $f\in C[0,\infty)$ such that $f(x)\to 0$ as $x\to\infty$ we need to show that for any $\epsilon>0$ there is a polynomial $p$ such that ...
23
votes
1answer
528 views

An awful identity

We take place on $\mathbb C(x_1,...,x_r,x'_1,...,x'_p,u_0,...,u_r,u'_0,...,u'_p)$ with $r,p\in \mathbb N$ Show that : $$\displaystyle{\sum_{i=1}^r \left( \frac{\prod_{j=0}^r (u_j-x_i) ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

Do we really need polynomials (In contrast to polynomial functions)?

In the following I'm going to call a polynomial expression an element of a suitable algebraic structure (for example a ring, since it has an addition and a multiplication) that has the form ...