Questions about the set of values at which a given function evaluates to zero. For questions about "square roots", "cube roots", and such, consider using the (arithmetic) tag. For questions about roots of Lie algebras, use the (lie-algebra) tag instead.

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113
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1answer
3k views

Rational roots of polynomials

Can one construct a sequence $(a_k)_{k\geqslant 0}$ of rational numbers such that, for every positive integer $n$ the polynomial $a_nX^n+a_{n-1}X^{n-1}+\cdots +a_0$ has exactly $n$ distinct rational ...
48
votes
4answers
3k views

Are the solutions of $x^{x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}}}=2$ correct?

Problem: Find $x$ in $$\large x^{x^{x^{x^{ \cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}} }}}}=2$$ Trick: $x^{x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}}}=2$, so, $x^{(x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}})}=x^2=2$, and, ...
44
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 ...
35
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
33
votes
4answers
862 views

AM-GM-HM Triplets

I want to understand what values can be simultaneously attained as the arithmetic (AM), geometric (GM), and harmonic (HM) means of finite sequences of positive real numbers. Precisely, for what points ...
28
votes
2answers
541 views

Why does this distribution of polynomial roots resemble a collection of affine IFS fractals?

Consider the following spectacular image, created by Sam Derbyshire and described in John Baez's article "The Beauty of Roots": In this image are plotted all the complex roots of all polynomials of ...
25
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it possible for a quadratic equation to have one rational root and one irrational root?

Is it possible for a quadratic equation to have one rational root and one irrational root? Yes, a pretty straightforward question. Is it possible?
25
votes
3answers
350 views

Patterns of the zeros of the Faulhaber polynomials (modified)

Faulhaber polynomial of order $p \in \Bbb{N}$ is defined as the unique polynomial of degree $p+1$ satisfying $$ S_{p}(n) = \sum_{k=1}^{n} k^p $$ for $n = 1, 2, 3, \cdots$. For example, ...
24
votes
2answers
635 views

Countability of the zero set of a real polynomial

This is the question from my calculus homework: Is it possible for a polynomial $f\colon\, \mathbb{R}^{n}\to \mathbb{R}$ to have a countable zero-set $f^{-1}(\{0\})$? (By countable I mean countably ...
23
votes
3answers
736 views

Galois groups of polynomials and explicit equations for the roots

Lets say I have calculated the galois group of some polynomial and I also have the subgroup structure. What's an effective procedure to turn the group into equations for the actual roots of the ...
22
votes
2answers
483 views

How to show that a root of the equation $x (x+1)(x+2) … (x+2009) = c $ can have multiplicity at most 2?

How to show that a root of the equation $$x (x+1)(x+2) ....... (x+2009) = c $$ can have multiplicity at most 2 , and to find the value of $ c $ for which this is possible. I proceeded by using the ...
18
votes
2answers
618 views

Prove that there exists $n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that $f^{(n)}$ has at least n+1 zeros on $(-1,1)$

Let $f\in C^{\infty}(\mathbb{R},\mathbb{R})$ such that $f(x)=0$ on $\mathbb{R}$\ $(-1,1)$. Prove that there exists $n\in\mathbb{N}$ such that $f^{(n)}$ has at least n+1 zeros on $(-1,1)$ My attempt : ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Can $x^3+3x^2+1=0$ be solved using high school methods?

I encountered the following problem in a high-school math text, which I wasn't able to solve using factorization/factor theorem: Solve $x^3+3x^2+1=0$ Am I missing something here, or is indeed a more ...
17
votes
4answers
725 views

Find all roots of $\,(x + 1)(x + 2)(x + 3)^2(x + 4)(x + 5) = 360$

The question is to find all complex roots of $$(x + 1)(x + 2)(x + 3)^2(x + 4)(x + 5) = 360$$ and it is meant to be solved by hand. Is there any quick way to solve this using some trick that I'm not ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

On applying the quadratic formula to a first-degree equation

You're probably thinking, "Why?" Please let me explain... It is (very) well-known that $$ \forall (a,b,c,x) \in \mathbb{C}^* \times \mathbb{C}^3: ax^2 + bx + c = 0 \Leftrightarrow x = \frac{-b \pm ...
16
votes
5answers
4k views

Roots of Legendre Polynomial

I was wondering if the following properties of the Legendre polynomials are true in general. They hold for the first ten or fifteen polynomials. Are the roots always simple (i.e., multiplicity $1$)? ...
16
votes
0answers
226 views

Find all polynomials $\sum_{k=0}^na_kx^k$, where $a_k=\pm2$ or $a_k=\pm1$, and $0\leq k\leq n,1\leq n<\infty$, such that they have only real zeroes

Find all polynomials $\sum_{k=0}^na_kx^k$, where $a_k=\pm2$ or $a_k=\pm1$, and $0\leq k\leq n,1\leq n<\infty$, such that they have only real zeroes. I've been thinking about this question, but ...
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 ...
15
votes
2answers
443 views

Adriaan van Roomen's 45th degree equation in 1593

Adriaan van Roomen proposed a 45th degree equation in 1593(see this book, picture reference as follows): $$ \begin{gathered} f(x) = x^{45} - 45x^{43} + 945x^{41} - 12300x^{39} + 111150x^{37} - ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the discriminant of a cubic polynomial being less than 0 indicate complex roots?

The discriminant $\Delta = 18abcd - 4b^3d + b^2 c^2 - 4ac^3 - 27a^2d^2$ of the cubic polynomial $ax^3 + bx^2 + cx+ d$ indicates not only if there are repeated roots when $\Delta$ vanishes, but also ...
15
votes
1answer
741 views

Showing that the roots of a polynomial with descending positive coefficients lie in the unit disc.

Let $P(z)=a_nz^n+\cdots+a_0$ be a polynomial whose coefficients satisfy $$0<a_0<a_1<\cdots<a_n.$$ I want to show that the roots of $P$ live in unit disc. The obvious idea is to use ...
15
votes
4answers
550 views

Prove $\sqrt{a} + \sqrt{b} + \sqrt{c} \ge ab + bc + ca$

Let $a,b,c$ are non-negative numbers, such that $a+b+c = 3$. Prove that $\sqrt{a} + \sqrt{b} + \sqrt{c} \ge ab + bc + ca$ Here's my idea: $\sqrt{a} + \sqrt{b} + \sqrt{c} \ge ab + bc + ca$ ...
13
votes
1answer
128 views

Prove $\sum_{i=0}^n \binom{n}{i}^2x^{n-i} = 0$ has $n$ negative roots

Let's $n \in \mathbb{Z^+}$, how to $\text{prove}|\text{disprove}$ that: the equation $\boxed{\sum_{i=0}^n \binom{n}{i}^2x^{n-i} = 0}$ has exactly $n$ distinct negative roots. My friend get ...
13
votes
3answers
137 views

$\sum_i x_i^n = 0$ for all $n$ implies $x_i = 0$

Here is a statement that seems prima facie obvious, but when I try to prove it, I am lost. Let $x_1 , x_2 \dots x_k$ be complex numbers satisfying: $$x_1 + x_2 \dots + x_k = 0$$ $$x_1^2 + x_2^2 ...
12
votes
2answers
114 views

Fully factored integer polynomials with constant differences

Given a degree $d$, it is possible to construct a pair $(F,\delta),$ where $F$ is a polynomial in $\mathbb{Z}[X]$ and $\delta$ a non-zero integer, such that $F(X)$ and $F(X)+\delta$ both split into ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Derivation of asymptotic solution of $\tan(x) = x$.

An equation that seems to come up everywhere is the transcendental $\tan(x) = x$. Normally when it comes up you content yourself with a numerical solution usually using Newton's method. However, ...
11
votes
2answers
488 views

Number of roots of $x^a-1=0$ with $a \in \mathbb{C}$

It is well known that $x^2-1=0$ has two roots in $\mathbb{C}$, namely $\pm 1$. In general $x^n-1=0$ has exactly $n$ roots in $\mathbb{C}$. But what happens when $n$ is non integer (rational or real or ...
11
votes
3answers
182 views

How do we solve $a \le b^{r}-r$ for $r$?

Given two values $a$ and $b$, how should one go about solving the following inequality for $r$: $$a \le b^r -r .$$ Applying $\log_b$ on both sides of the inequality doesn't help me much since that ...
11
votes
1answer
206 views

Solving $x^2+bx^{1+\varepsilon}+c =0$

Let $x \in \mathbb{R}$. Is it possible to find the roots of $x^2+bx^{1+\varepsilon}+c =0$ where $b,c \in \mathbb{R}$ and $\varepsilon$ is small. I am guessing that an explicit expression might not be ...
11
votes
2answers
359 views

Number of real positive roots of a polynomial?

Consider the polynomial $$f(x)=x((1+x^n)^n+a^n)-a(1+x^n)^n,$$ where $n\geq 2$ is a positive integer and $a$ is a positive real number. I'm interesting in deducing the number of positive real roots ...
11
votes
1answer
506 views

Can the real and imaginary parts of $\dfrac{\sin z}z$ be simplified?

I have calculated the real and imaginary parts of $\dfrac{\sin z}z.$ I've obtained $$\begin{eqnarray} \frac{\sin z}z&=&\frac{\sin(x+iy)}{(x+iy)}\\ &=& ...
10
votes
7answers
3k views

How to solve an exponential equation with two different bases: $3^x - 2^x = 5$

Can anyone tell me how to solve this equation $$3^x - 2^x = 5$$ other than graphically? I'm stunned. I don't know what to do in the first step.
10
votes
6answers
625 views

Complex roots of $z^3 + \bar{z} = 0$

I'm trying to find the complex roots of $z^3 + \bar{z} = 0$ using De Moivre. Some suggested multiplying both sides by z first, but that seems wrong to me as it would add a root ( and I wouldn't know ...
10
votes
4answers
307 views

sum of reciprocals of derivative of polynomial at its roots

If $P(x)$ is a polynomial of degree $n > 1$ with only simple roots $a_1,\ldots,a_n$, is it true that $\frac 1{P'(a_1)} + \cdots + \frac 1{P'(a_n)} = 0$, and, if so, what is the proof? I ...
10
votes
2answers
166 views

Given a cubic and quadratic share a root, prove $(ac-b^{2})(bd-c^{2})\geq 0$

Here is an interesting problem. Perhaps someone would be so kind as to give me a shove in the right direction?. If $ax^{3}+3bx^{2}+3cx+d$ and $ax^{2}+2bx+c$ share a common root, then prove that ...
10
votes
3answers
286 views

Do there exist an infinite number of complex solutions of $3^z+4^z=5^z$?

Are the followings true? 1 : There exist an infinite number of complex solutions of the equation $$3^z+4^z=5^z \tag{$\star$}.$$ 2 : There exist an infinite number of complex solutions $z$ of ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Using Vieta's theorem for cubic equations to derive the cubic discriminant

Background: Vieta's Theorem for cubic equations says that if a cubic equation $x^3 + px^2 + qx + r = 0$ has three different roots $x_1, x_2, x_3$, then $$\begin{eqnarray*} -p &=& x_1 + x_2 ...
10
votes
2answers
95 views

Behavior of zeros of $f'$ for complex polynomials $f$ with zeros on the boundary of the unit disc.

Suppose we have $f(z) = (z-r_1)\cdots(z-r_n)$, $|r_j| = 1$. According to the Lucas-Gauss theorem, all of the zeros of $f'$ lie in the convex hull of the $r_j$, but I discovered some behavior I don't ...
10
votes
1answer
332 views

How to solve $x!=5^x$?

Or, more generally, $$\Gamma (x+1)=\int_0^{\infty}t^{x}e^{-t}dt=p^x$$ with $p \in \mathbb{Z}^+$ and $x \in \mathbb{C}$. Perhaps begin with $\large p^x=p^x \lim_{n \rightarrow ...
10
votes
4answers
163 views

Coefficients of a polynomial also are the roots of the polynomial?

How many real solutions $(r_1, r_2, \cdots, r_n)$ are there such that $(r_1, r_2, \cdots, r_n)$ are the roots of the polynomials $x^{n} + r_1 x^{n-1} + r_2 x^{n-2} + \cdots + r_n$ For $n = 2, 3, 4$ I ...
9
votes
4answers
583 views

Solve for $x$: $2^x = x^3$

What category of equation is this? What methods are available to solve it? $2^x -x^3 = 0$ where $x\in\Bbb R$
9
votes
5answers
300 views

Finding real roots of $ P(x)=x^8 - x^7 +x^2 -x +15$

Let $ P(x)=x^8 - x^7 +x^2 -x +15 $, Descartes' Rule of Signs tells us that the polynomial has 4 positive real roots , but if we group the terms as $$ P(x)= x(x-1)(x^6+1) +15 $$ we find that $ P(x) $ ...
9
votes
2answers
543 views

Complex Zeros of $z^2e^z-z$

Can anyone give me a hint on showing (in a relatively elegant way, as I know the answer from WolframAlpha), that the complex valued function $z^2e^z-z$ has at most 2 roots with norm less than 2? ...
9
votes
2answers
460 views

Zeros of Fourier transform of a function in $C[-1,1]$

I am trying to prove the following: Let $g \in C[-1,1]$. Then the function $$G(z) = \int_{-1}^1 e^{itz}g(t)dt$$ has infinitely many zeros. I know that $G(z)$ is entire and $\lim_{x \to \pm ...
9
votes
1answer
607 views

If a rational function is real on the unit circle, what does that say about its roots and poles?

While doing a bit of self study, I ran across a situation whose wording confused me. Suppose $R(z)$ is some rational function which is real on the circle $|z|=1$ in the complex plane. The question ...
9
votes
4answers
662 views

Describe the locus in the complex plane of the zeros of a quartic polynomial as the constant term varies

(Diagram and setup from UCSMP Precaluclus and Discrete Mathematics, 3rd ed.) Above is a partial plot of the zeros of $p_c(x)=4x^4+8x^3-3x^2-9x+c$. The text stops at showing the diagram and does ...
9
votes
3answers
284 views

How prove this Polynomial $g(x)=\sum_{i=1}^{n}a^m_{i}x^i$have only real roots?

Question 1: let Polynomial $f(x)=\displaystyle\sum_{i=0}^{3}a_{i}x^i,$ have three real numbers roots,where $a_{i}>0,i=1,2,3$. show that: $$g(x)=\sum_{i=0}^{3}a^m_{i}x^i$$ have only real ...
9
votes
1answer
230 views

Roots of a complex polynomial

Let $f(z)=a_0+\cdots+a_n z^n$ be a complex polynomial with $a_j = \alpha_j + i \beta_j$ (with $\alpha_j, \beta_j \in \mathbb{R}$). Let $P(z)=\alpha_0 + \cdots + \alpha_n z^n$ and $Q(z)=\beta_0 + ...
9
votes
1answer
286 views

Existence of real roots of a quartic polynomial

Question What is the minimum possible value of $a^{2}+b^{2}$ so that the polynomial $x^{4}+ax^{3}+bx^{2}+ax+1=0$ has at least 1 root? Attempt I divided by $x^{2}$ and got ...
9
votes
4answers
911 views

Prove $\sqrt{3a + b^3} + \sqrt{3b + c^3} + \sqrt{3c + a^3} \ge 6$

If $a,b,c$ are non-negative numbers and $a+b+c=3$, prove that: $$\sqrt{3a + b^3} + \sqrt{3b + c^3} + \sqrt{3c + a^3} \ge 6$$ Here's what I've tried: Using Cauchy-Schawrz I proved that: $$(3a + ...