Synthethic division is commonly taught, but I have never actually had a proof/explanation shown to me. Why does it work?

Work So Far

I related the "$x$" to powers to 10, and then proceeded to relate synthetic division to non-polynomial division, but couldn't seem to find the correlation.

Research So Far

My teacher doesn't seem to have a valid explanation for why it works. A google search doesn't provide any good results either. All I seem to get is a Yahoo answers link with a badly formatted proof that makes it hard to understand and a physics forum link that links synthetic division to "normal division" by relating the "x" to 10, a conclusion I have already arrived at.

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Per request, I post my comment here. Synthetic division is simply the polynomial long division algorithm optimized for the case when the divisor is linear (degree $1$). Said Wikipedia pages both do the same example. If you place these pages side-by-side and compare the associated steps then it should be clear how the optimization works.

  • 1
    ..... I don't know if the examples changed or if I'm just dumb. Six years in the future here and I am sadly confused. :/ – kitukwfyer May 2 at 23:25

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