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# B I N O M I A L E X P A N S I O N S

In Chapter 5 you learned how to square a binomial. In this section you will study
higher powers of binomials.
Some Examples
We know that (x y)
2
x
2
2xy y
2
. To nd (x y)
3
, we multiply (x y)
2
by
x y:
(x y)
3
(x
2
2xy y
2
)(x y)
(x
2
2xy y
2
)x (x
2
2xy y
2
)y
x
3
2x
2
y xy
2
x
2
y 2xy
2
y
3
x
3
3x
2
y 3xy
2
y
3
The sum x
3
3x
2
y 3xy
2
y
3
is called the binomial expansion of (x y)
3
. If we
again multiply by x y, we will get the binomial expansion of (x y)
4
. This method
is rather tedious. However, if we examine these expansions, we can nd a pattern and
learn how to nd binomial expansions without multiplying.
Consider the following binomial expansions:
(x y)
0
1
(x y)
1
x y
(x y)
2
x
2
2xy y
2
(x y)
3
x
3
3x
2
y 3xy
2
y
3
(x y)
4
x
4
4x
3
y 6x
2
y
2
4xy
3
y
4
(x y)
5
x
5
5x
4
y 10x
3
y
2
10x
2
y
3
5xy
4
y
5
Observe that the exponents on the variable x are decreasing, whereas the exponents
on the variable y are increasing, as we read from left to right. Also notice that the
sum of the exponents in each term is the same for that entire line. For instance, in
the fourth expansion the terms x
4
, x
3
y, x
2
y
2
, xy
3
, and y
4
all have exponents with a
sum of 4. If we continue the pattern, the expansion of (x y)
6
will have seven terms
containing x
6
, x
5
y, x
4
y
2
, x
3
y
3
, x
2
y
4
, xy
5
, and y
6
. Now we must nd the pattern for the
coefcients of these terms.
Obtaining the Coefcients
If we write out only the coefcients of the expansions that we already have, we can
easily see a pattern. This triangular array of coefcients for the binomial expansions
is called Pascals triangle.
1 (x y)
0
1
1 1 (x y)
1
1x 1y
1 2 1 (x y)
2
1x
2
2xy 1y
2
1 3 3 1 (x y)
3
1x
3
3x
2
y 3xy
2
1y
3
1 4 6 4 1 (x y)
4
1x
4
4x
3
y 6x
2
y
2
4xy
3
1y
4
1 5 10 10 5 1 Coefcients in (x y)
5
Notice that each line starts and ends with a 1 and that each entry of a line is the
sum of the two entries above it in the previous line. For instance, 4 3 1,
12.5
I n t h i s
s e c t i o n
G
Some Examples
G
Obtaining the Coefcients
G
The Binomial Theorem
652 (12-26) Chapter 12 Sequences and Series
12.5 Binomial Expansions (12-27) 653
and 10 6 4. Following this pattern, the sixth and seventh lines of coefcients
are
1 6 15 20 15 6 1
1 7 21 35 35 21 7 1
Pascals triangle gives us an easy way to get the coefcients for the binomial
expansion with small powers, but it is impractical for larger powers. For larger
powers we use a formula involving factorial notation.
n! (n factorial)
If n is a positive integer, n! (read n factorial) is dened to be the product of
all of the positive integers from 1 through n.
For example, 3! 3 2 1 6, and 5! 5 4 3 2 1 120. We also
dene 0! to be 1.
Before we state a general formula, consider how the coefcients for (x y)
4
are
found by using factorials:

4
4
! 0
!
!

4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
1
1 Coefcient of x
4
(or x
4
y
0
)

3
4
! 1
!
!

4
3

3
2

2
1

1
1
4 Coefcient of 4x
3
y

2
4
! 2
!
!
6 Coefcient of 6x
2
y
2

1
4
! 3
!
!

4
1

3
3

2
2

1
1
4 Coefcient of 4xy
3

0
4
! 4
!
!

1
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
1 Coefcient of y
4
(or x
0
y
4
)
Note that each expression has 4! in the numerator, with factorials in the denomina-
tor corresponding to the exponents on x and y.
The Binomial Theorem
We now summarize these ideas in the binomial theorem.
The Binomial Theorem
In the expansion of (x y)
n
for a positive integer n, there are n 1 terms,
given by the following formula:
(x y)
n

n
n
! 0
!
!
x
n

(n
n
1
!
)! 1!
x
n1
y
(n
n
2
!
)! 2!
x
n2
y
2

. . .

0
n
! n
!
!
y
n
The notation

is often used in place of
(n
n!
r)!r!
in the binomial expansion.
Using this notation, we write the expansion as
(x y)
n

x
n

x
n1
y

x
n2
y
2

. . .

y
n
.
n
n
n
2
n
1
n
0
n
r
4 3 2 1

2 1 2 1
You can evaluate the coef-
cients using either the fac-
torial notation or nCr. The
factorial symbol and nCr are
under PRB.
c a l c u l a t o r
c l o s e - u p
Another notation for
(n
n!
r)!r!
is
n
C
r
. Using this notation, we have
(x y)
n

n
C
0
x
n

n
C
1
x
n1
y
n
C
2
x
n2
y
2

. . .

n
C
n
y
n
.
E X A M P L E 1 Using the binomial theorem
Write out the rst three terms of (x y)
9
.
Solution
(x y)
9

9
9
! 0
!
!
x
9

8
9
! 1
!
!
x
8
y
7
9
! 2
!
!
x
7
y
2

. . .
x
9
9x
8
y 36x
7
y
2

. . .

E X A M P L E 2 Using the binomial theorem
Write the binomial expansion for (x
2
2a)
5
.
Solution
We expand a difference by writing it as a sum and using the binomial theorem:
(x
2
2a)
5
(x
2
(2a))
5

5
5
!0
!
!
(x
2
)
5

4
5
!1
!
!
(x
2
)
4
(2a)
1

3
5
!2
!
!
(x
2
)
3
(2a)
2

2
5
! 3
!
!
(x
2
)
2
(2a)
3

1
5
! 4
!
!
(x
2
)(2a)
4

0
5
! 5
!
!
(2a)
5
x
10
10x
8
a 40x
6
a
2
80x
4
a
3
80x
2
a
4
32a
5

## E X A M P L E 3 Finding a specic term

Find the fourth term of the expansion of (a b)
12
.
Solution
The variables in the rst term are a
12
b
0
, those in the second term are a
11
b
1
, those in
the third term are a
10
b
2
, and those in the fourth term are a
9
b
3
. So

9
1
!
2
3
!
!
a
9
b
3
220a
9
b
3
.
The fourth term is 220a
9
b
3
.
Using the ideas of Example 3, we can write a formula for any term of a binomial
expansion.
Formula for the kth Term of (x y)
n
For k ranging from 1 to n 1, the kth term of the expansion of (x y)
n
is
given by the formula
x
nk1
y
k1
.
n!

(n k 1)!(k 1)!
654 (12-28) Chapter 12 Sequences and Series
Because
n
C
r

, we
have
12
C
9

3
1
!
2
9
!
!
and
12
C
3

9
1
!
2
3
!
!
.
So there is more than one way
to compute 12!(9! 3!):
n!

(n r)! r !
c a l c u l a t o r
c l o s e - u p
12.5 Binomial Expansions (12-29) 655
E X A M P L E 4 Finding a specic term
Find the sixth term of the expansion of (a
2
2b)
7
.
Solution
Use the formula for the kth term with k 6 and n 7:
(a
2
)
2
(2b)
5
21a
4
(32b
5
) 672a
4
b
5

## We can think of the binomial expansion as a nite series. Using summation

notation, we can write the binomial theorem as follows.
The Binomial Theorem (Using Summation Notation)
For any positive integer n,
(x y)
n

n
i0

(n
n!
i)!i!
x
ni
y
i
or (x y)
n

n
i0

x
ni
y
i
.
E X A M P L E 5 Using summation notation
Write (a b)
5
using summation notation.
Solution
Use n 5 in the binomial theorem:
(a b)
5

5
i0

(5
5!
i)! i!
a
5i
b
i

1. There are 12 terms in the expansion of (a b)
12
. False
2. The seventh term of (a b)
12
is a multiple of a
5
b
7
. False
3. For all values of x, (x 2)
5
x
5
32. False
4. In the expansion of (x 5)
8
the signs of the terms alternate. True
5. The eighth line of Pascals triangle is
1 8 28 56 70 56 28 8 1. True
6. The sum of the coefcients in the expansion of (a b)
4
is 2
4
. True
7. (a b)
3

3
i0

(3
3!
i)! i!
a
3i
b
i
True
8. The sum of the coefcients in the expansion of (a b)
n
is 2
n
. True
9. 0! 1! True
10.
5
7
!2
!
!
21 True
n
i
7!

(7 6 1)!(6 1)!
W A R M - U P S
656 (12-30) Chapter 12 Sequences and Series
answers to these questions. Use complete sentences.
1. What is a binomial expansion?
The sum obtained for a power of a binomial is called a
binomial expansion.
2. What is Pascals triangle and how do you make it?
Pascals triangle gives the coefcients for (a b)
n
for
n 1, 2, 3, and so on. Each row starts and ends with a 1.
The other terms are obtained by adding the closest two
terms in the preceding row.
3. What does n! mean?
The expression n! is the product of the positive integers
from 1 through n.
4. What is the binomial theorem?
The binomial theorem gives the expansion of (a b)
n
.
Evaluate each expression.
5.
2
5
! 3
!
!
10 6.
5
6
! 1
!
!
6
7.
5!
8!
3!
56 8.
2
9
! 7
!
!
36
Use the binomial theorem to expand each binomial. See Exam-
ples 1 and 2.
9. (r t)
5
r
5
5r
4
t 10r
3
t
2
10r
2
t
3
5rt
4
t
5
10. (r t)
6
r
6
6r
5
t 15r
4
t
2
20r
3
t
3
15r
2
t
4
6rt
5
t
6
11. (m n)
3
m
3
3m
2
n 3mn
2
n
3
12. (m n)
4
m
4
4m
3
n 6m
2
n
2
4mn
3
n
4
13. (x 2a)
3
x
3
6ax
2
12a
2
x 8a
3
14. (a 3b)
4
a
4
12a
3
b 54a
2
b
2
108ab
3
81b
4
15. (x
2
2)
4
x
8
8x
6
24x
4
32x
2
16
16. (x
2
a
2
)
5
x
10
5a
2
x
8
10a
4
x
6
10a
6
x
4
5a
8
x
2
a
10
17. (x 1)
7
x
7
7x
6
21x
5
35x
4
35x
3
21x
2
7x 1
18. (x 1)
6
x
6
6x
5
15x
4
20x
3
15x
2
6x 1
Write out the rst four terms in the expansion of each binomial.
See Examples 1 and 2.
19. (a 3b)
12
a
12
36a
11
b 594a
10
b
2
5940a
9
b
3
20. (x 2y)
10
x
10
20x
9
y 180x
8
y
2
960x
7
y
3
21. (x
2
5)
9
x
18
45x
16
900x
14
10,500x
12
22. (x
2
1)
20
x
40
20x
38
190x
36
1140x
34
23. (x 1)
22
x
22
22x
21
231x
20
1540x
19
24. (2x 1)
8
256x
8
1024x
7
1792x
6
1792x
5
25.

2
x

3
y

10

1
x
0
1
2
0
4

5
7
x
6
9
8
y

5
2
x
5
8
y
6
2

5
1
x
4
7
y
4
3

26.

a
2

b
5

2
a
5
8
6

a
8
7
0
b

7
4
a
0
6
b
0
2

7
5
a
0
5
b
0
3

## Find the indicated term of the binomial expansion. See Exam-

ples 3 and 4.
27. (a w)
13
, 6th term 28. (m n)
12
, 7th term
1287a
8
w
5
924m
6
n
6
29. (m n)
16
, 8th term 30. (a b)
14
, 6th term
11,440m
9
n
7
2002a
9
b
5
31. (x 2y)
8
, 4th term 32. (3a b)
7
, 4th term
448x
5
y
3
2835a
4
b
3
33. (2a
2
b)
20
, 7th term 34. (a
2
w
2
)
12
, 5th term
635,043,840a
28
b
6
495a
16
w
8
Write each expansion using summation notation. See Example 5.
35. (a m)
8
36. (z w)
13

8
i0

(8
8!
i)! i!
a
8i
m
i

13
i0

(13
1

3!
i)! i!
z
13i
w
i
37. (a 2x)
5
38. (w 3m)
7

5
i0

(5
5!

(
i
2
)!
)
i
i!
a
5i
x
i

7
i0

(7
7!

(
i
3
)!
)
i
i
!
w
7i
m
i
GETTI NG MORE I NVOLVED
39. Discussion. Find the trinomial expansion for (a b c)
3
by using x a and y b c in the binomial theorem.
a
3
b
3
c
3
3a
2
b 3a
2
c 3ab
2
3ac
2
3b
2
c
3bc
2
6abc
40. Discussion. What problem do you encounter when trying
to nd the fourth term in the binomial expansion for
(x y)
120
? How can you overcome this problem? Find the
fth term in the binomial expansion for (x 2y)
100
.
280,840x
117
y
3
, 62,739,600x
96
y
4
E X E R C I S E S 12. 5
Lotteries Are Series(ous)
Roberto and his brother-in-law Horatio each have a child who
will be graduating from high school in 5 years. Each would like
to buy his child a car for a graduation present. Horatio decides to
buy two lottery tickets each week for the next 5 years, hoping to
win and buy a new car for his child. The lottery tickets are \$2.00
each at the local convenience store. Roberto, who doesnt
C O L L A B O R A T I V E A C T I V I T I E S
believe in lotteries, decides to set aside \$4.00 each week and to
deposit this money in a savings account each quarter for the next
5 years to buy a used car. He nds a bank that will pay 5% yearly
interest compounded quarterly.
Grouping: Two to four students per group
Topic: Sequences and series