# Questions tagged [polynomials]

This tag is used for both basic and advanced questions on polynomials in any number of variables, including, but not limited to solving for roots, factoring and checking for irreducibility.

1,928 questions
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### 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 ...
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### How do I prove that $x^p-x+a$ is irreducible in a field with $p$ elements when $a\neq 0$?

Let $p$ be a prime. 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 ...
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### Why Rational Root Theorem requires integer coefficient polynomials? [closed]

Why does the rational root theorem only work when the polynomial has integer coefficients?
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### Irreducible polynomial which is reducible 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 $x^4+1=(x+1)^4\bmod 2$. Also $\bmod 3$ we have that $0,1,2$ are not ...
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### Is there a general formula for solving 4th degree equations (quartic)?

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 three equations: one for each ...
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### 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 ...
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### How to solve fifth-degree equations by elliptic functions?

From F. Klein's books, It seems that one can find the roots of a quintic equation $$z^5+az^4+bz^3+cz^2+dz+e=0$$ (where $a,b,c,d,e\in\Bbb C$) by elliptic functions. How to get that?
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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. ...
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### Why can we use the division algorithm for $x-a$?

In Theorem 5.2.3 in these notes, it is said that Since $x − a$ has leading coefficient $1$, which is a unit, we may use the Division Algorithm... Why is this true? I thought that the Division ...
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### 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 ...
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### Prove that $\sum_{k=0}^n a_k x^k = 0$ has at least $1$ real root if $\sum_{k=0}^n \frac{a_k}{k+1} = 0$

Knowing that $$\frac{a_0}{1} + \frac{a_1}{2} + \frac{a_2}{3} +\cdots + \frac{a_n}{n+1} =0$$ Prove that $$a_0 + a_1x + a_2x^2 + \cdots + a_nx^n = 0$$ has at least one real solution. I suspect that ...
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### 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 — ...
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### Galois Group of $\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2}}$ over $\mathbb{Q}$

So I want to show that $\mathbb{Q}(\sqrt{2+\sqrt{2}})$ is Galois over $\mathbb{Q}$ and determine its Galois group. My thoughts are as follows: Define $\alpha := \sqrt{2+\sqrt{2}}$. Then it is ...
### Product of all monic irreducibles with degree dividing $n$ in $\mathbb{F}_{q^n}$?
In the finite field of $q^n$ elements, the product of all monic irreducible polynomials with degree dividing $n$ is known to simply be $X^{q^n}-X$. Why is this? I understand that \$q^n=\sum_{d\mid n}...