x2 1
( x 2) 16 x 2
Solution
1. Algebraically: F 1.8C 32 , where F is degree Fahrenheit and C is degree
Celsius.
2. Visually:
y
60
50
40
30
20
10
x
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
3. Numerically:
Degree Celsius
Degree Fahrenheit
40
40
30
22
20
4
10
14
0
32
10
50
20
68
30
86
40
104
b) f ( x) 1 x 2
d) g ( x) 0.5 x 2
c) y x( x 2 4)
Solution
a) Since f ( x) 2 x 2 x f ( x) , so y 2 x is an even function.
b) Since f ( x) 1 ( x)2 1 x2 f ( x) , so f ( x) 1 x 2 is even, too.
c) Since f ( x) ( x)(( x)2 4) x( x 2 4) f ( x) , so the function is odd.
d) Since g ( x) 0.5 x 2 0.5 ( x 2) 0.5 x 2 , that neither equals to
g ( x) , nor g ( x) . Therefore, the function is neither even nor odd.
4
3
2
1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
x
4
3
2
1
20
21
1
22
23
24
2
y2 x
f ( x) 1 x 2
19
18 y
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
x
6
5
4
3
2
1
1
x
4
3
2
1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
y x( x 2 4)
5
2
3
4
5
g ( x) 0.5 x 2
19
18 y
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
x
1
2
1
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
(a)
1
x
3
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
(b)
The domain of a polynomial function is always the set of all the real numbers unless it is
specified. The graph of a polynomial function is continuous, that is, there are no breaks in
the graph. Polynomial functions can have four types of end behaviour. Both rightmost
and leftmost y values may be positive (see the graph (a) above), or both may be negative.
Rightmost and leftmost y values may be of opposite signs (see the graph (b) above). An
evendegree polynomial must have one of the first two kinds of end behaviour. An odddegree polynomial function must have one of the last two kinds.
A degreen polynomial function could have at most n x intercepts, and if n is even the
polynomial could have no any x intercept at all, and if n is odd, the polynomial must have
at least one xintercept since its rightmost and leftmost y values are of opposite sighs.
4
Solution
To understand the behavior of a rational function it is very useful to see its polynomials
in factored form. The polynomials in the numerator and the denominator of the above
function would factor like this:
( x 5)( x 4)
f ( x)
( x 3)( x 6)
Now the roots of the denominator are obviously x = 3 and x = 6. That is, if x takes on
either of these two values, the denominator becomes equal to zero. Since one can not
divide by zero, the function is not defined for these two values of x. We say that the
function is discontinuous at x = 3 and x = 6.
Other values for x do not cause the function to become undefined, so, we say that the
function is continuous at all other values for x. In other words, all real numbers except 3
and 6 are allowed as inputs to this function. The domain for the function, therefore, as
expressed in interval notation is:
D {x x 3 or 3 x 6 or 6 x }
The xintercepts for this function would be where the output, or yvalue, equals zero. A
rational function can be considered a fraction, and a fraction is equal to zero when the
numerator is equal to zero. For our rational function example this happens when the
polynomial in the numerator is equal to zero, and this will happen at the roots of this
polynomial. The roots of the numerator polynomial are x = 5 and x = 4. That is, when x
takes on either of these two values the numerator becomes zero, and the output of the
function, or yvalue, also becomes zero.
2x 5
x 1
Solution
First we'll find the vertical asymptotes, if any, for this rational function. Since we can't
graph where the function doesn't exist, and since the function won't exist where there
would be a zero in the denominator, we'll set the denominator equal to zero to find any
forbidden points: x 1 = 0 or x = 1. So we can't have x = 1, and therefore we have a
vertical asymptote there:
y =(2x + 5)/(x 1)
(2(6) + 5)/((6) 1) = (12 + 5)/(7) = (7)/(7) = 1
(2(3) + 5)/((3) 1) = (6 + 5)/(4) = (1)/(4) = 0.25
(2(1) + 5)/((1) 1) = (2 + 5)/(2) = (3)/(2) = 1.5
(2(2) + 5)/((2) 1) = (4 + 5)/(1) = (9)/(1) = 9
(2(3) + 5)/((3) 1) = (6 + 5)/(2) = (11)/(2) = 5.5
(2(6) + 5)/((6) 1) = (12 + 5)/(5) = (17)/(5) = 3.4
(2(8) + 5)/((8) 1) = (16 + 5)/(7) = (21)/(7) = 3
You'll note that we mostly picked xvalues near the middle of the graph. Because of the
horizontal asymptote, we already have a good idea of what the graph does off to the sides.
(It can be a good idea to do a point or two near the ends anyway, as a check on your
work.) Also, since we had no intercepts on the righthand side of the vertical asymptote
to give us hints as to what was happening with the graph, we needed more points there to
show us what was going on. Now we'll plot these points (see Figure (a) below), then we
can connect the dots (see Figure (b) below): When you draw your graph, make sure you
show the graph continuing off to the sides.
10
3
2
1
11 10 9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
x
10 11 12
1
11 10 9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1
10
x
11 12
1
2
2
3
3
4
4
5
5
6
6
7
7
(a)
(b)
Note: Your calculator may display a misleading graph for a rational function. When you
graph, you plot some points and then connect them. Your calculator does the same thing.
But you're smart enough to know not to cross a vertical asymptote. Your calculator isn't.
x3 8
x2 5x 6
Then the slant asymptote is the line y = x 5. Well draw this in the graph below.
Now we'll find any intercepts:
x = 0: y = (0 8)/(0 + 0 + 6) = 4/3
y = 0: 0 = (x3 8)/(x2 + 5x + 6) or 0 = x3 8 = (x 2)(x2 + 2x + 4)
Thus 0 = x 2
or x = 2
Remember that the x2 + 2x + 4 factor has no solutions, so we can't get any xintercepts
from it. Therefore the intercepts are at (0, 4/3) and (2, 0).
This still leaves a lot of the graph unaccounted for. In order to be sure of what is going on
here, we'll plot quite a few more points.
x
y
8
17.33
5
22.17
4
36
3.5
67.83
2.9
359.88
2.5
94.5
2.4
90.933
x
y
2.1
191.789
1.9
135.08
1.5
15.167
1
4.5
4
1.333
7
3.722
10
6.359
Some of those yvalues are pretty darned huge. We plot these points together with the
asymptotes and the intercepts as below.
Factor = Root
Make sure you arent confused by the terminology. All of these are the same:
Solving a polynomial equation p(x) = 0
Finding roots of a polynomial equation p(x) = 0
Finding zeroes of a polynomial function p(x)
Factoring a polynomial function p(x)
Theres a factor for every root, and vice versa. (x r) is a factor if and only if r is a root.
This is the Factor Theorem: finding the roots or finding the factors is essentially the same
thing. (The main difference is how you treat a constant factor.)
Step by Step
How do you find the factors or zeroes of a polynomial (or the roots of a polynomial
equation)? Basically, you whittle. Every time you chip a factor or root off the polynomial,
youre left with a polynomial that is one degree simpler. Use that new reduced
polynomial to find the remaining factors or roots.
Follow this procedure step by step:
1. If solving an equation, put it in standard form with 0 on one side and simplify.
2. Know how many roots to expect.
3. Find one factor or root. This is the hard part, but there are lots of techniques to help
you.
10
11
12
Complex Roots
If a polynomial has real coefficients, then either all roots are real or there are an even
number of nonreal complex roots, in conjugate pairs.
For example, if 5 + 2i is a zero of a polynomial with real coefficients, then 5 2i must
also be a zero of that polynomial. It is equally true that if ( x 5 2i) is a factor then
( x 5 2i) is also a factor.
Why is this true? Because when you have a factor with an imaginary part and multiply it
by its complex conjugate you get a real result:
( x 5 2i)( x 5 2i) x2 10 x 25 4i 2 x 2 10 x 29
If ( x 5 2i) was a factor but ( x 5 2i) was not, then the polynomial would end up
with imaginaries in its coefficients, no matter what the other factors might be. If the
polynomial has only real coefficients, then any complex roots must occur in conjugate
pairs.
Irrational Roots
For similar reasons, if the polynomial has rational coefficients then the irrational roots
involving square roots occur (if at all) in conjugate pairs. If x 2 3 is a factor of a
polynomial with rational coefficients, then x 2 3 must also be a factor. (To see
why, remember how you rationalize a binomial denominator; or just check what happens
when you multiply those two factors.)
13
Multiple Roots
When a given factor (x r) occurs m times in a polynomial, r is called a multiple root or
a root of multiplicity m. If the multiplicity m is an even number, the graph touches the x
axis at x = r but does not cross it. If the multiplicity m is an odd number, the graph
crosses the x axis at x = r. If the multiplicity is 3, 5, 7, and so on, the graph is horizontal
at the point where it crosses the axis.
For examples, compare these two polynomials and their graphs:
f(x) = (x1)(x4)2 = x3 9x2 + 24x 16
g(x) = (x1)3(x4)2 = x5 11x4 + 43x3 73x2 + 56x 16
These polynomials have the same zeroes, but the root 1 occurs with different
multiplicities. Look at the graphs:
Both polynomials have zeroes at 1 and 4 only. f(x) has degree 3, which means three roots.
You see from the factors that 1 is a root of multiplicity 1 and 4 is a root of multiplicity 2.
Therefore the graph crosses the axis at x = 1 (but is not horizontal there) and touches at
x 4 without crossing.
By contrast, g(x) has degree 5. (g(x) = f(x) times (x1)2.) Of the five roots, 1 occurs with
multiplicity 3: the graph crosses the axis at x = 1 and is horizontal there; 4 occurs with
multiplicity 2, and the graph touches the axis at x = 4 without crossing.
Sometimes you can find factors by inspection (see the first two sections that follow). This
provides a great shortcut, so check for easy factors before starting more strenuous
methods.
Monomial Factors
Always start by looking for any monomial factors you can see. For instance, if your
function is
f(x) = 4x6 + 12x5 + 12x4 + 4x3
you should immediately factor it as
f(x) = 4x3(x3 + 3x2 + 3x + 1)
Getting the 4 out of there simplifies the remaining numbers, the x 3 gives you a root of
x 0 (with multiplicity 3), and now you have only a cubic polynomial (degree 3) instead
of a sextic (degree 6). In fact, you should now recognize that cubic as a special product,
the perfect cube (x + 1)3.
When you factor out a common variable factor, be sure you remember it at the end when
youre listing the factor or roots. x+3x+3x+1 = 0 has certain roots, but
x(x+3x+3x+1)= 0 has those same roots and also a root at x = 0.
Special Products
Be alert for applications of the Special Products. If you can apply them, your task
becomes much easier. The Special Products are
Perfect Square (2 forms): A2AB + B= (A B)
Sum of Squares: A+ Bcannot be factored on the reals
Difference of Squares: A B = (A + B)(A B)
Perfect Cube (2 forms): A3AB + 3AB B= (A B)
Sum of Cubes: A + B = (A + B)(A AB + B)
Difference of Cubes: A B = (A B)(A + AB + B)
The expressions for the sum or difference of two cubes look as though they ought to
factor further, but they dont. AAB+B is prime over the reals.
Solution
15
Rational Roots
Assuming youve already factored out the easy monomial factors and special products,
what do you do if youve still got a polynomial of degree 3 or higher?
The answer is the Rational Root Test. It can show you some candidate roots when you
dont see how to factor the polynomial, as follows.
Consider a polynomial in standard form, written from highest degree to lowest and with
only integer coefficients:
f(x) = anxn + an1xn1 + ... + a1x + a0
The Rational Root Theorem tells you that if the polynomial has a rational zero then it
must be a fraction p/q, where p is a factor of the trailing constant a0 and q is a factor of
the leading coefficient an.
16
Solution
Step 1. The equation is already in standard form, with only zero on one side, and powers
of x from highest to lowest. There are no common factors.
Step 2. Since the equation has degree 3, there will be 3 roots. There is one variation in
sign, and from Descartes Rule of Signs you know there must be one positive root.
Examine the polynomial with x replacing x:
4x 15x 36
There are no variations in sign, which means there are no negative roots. The other two
roots must therefore be complex conjugates.
Steps 3 and 4. The possible rational roots are unfortunately rather numerous: any of 1, 2,
3, 4, 6, 9, 12, 18, 36 divided by any of 4, 2, 1. (Only positive roots are listed because you
have already determined that there are no negative roots for this equation.) You decide to
try 1 first:
1  4 0 15 36

4 4 19
4 4 19 17
1 is not a root, so you test 2:
2  4 0 15 36

8 16 62
4 8 31 26
Alas, 2 is not a root either. But notice that f(1) = 17 and f(2) = 26. They have opposite
signs, which means that the graph crosses the x axis between x=1 and x=2, and a root is
between 1 and 2. (In this case its the only root, since you have determined that there is
one positive root and there are no negative roots.)
17
3 9 4(2)(12) 3 87
3
87
i
2(2)
4
4
4
Step 6. Remember that you found a root in an earlier step. The full list of roots is
3
3
87
3
87
,
i,
i
2
4
4
4
4
18
Solution
Since they've already factored this polynomial, much of my work is already done. So
we'll go straight to finding the zeroes, by setting each factor equal to zero and solving:
x + 4 = 0, so x = 4;
x 2 = 0, so x = 2;
x 7 = 0, so x = 7
These three zeroes divide the xaxis into four intervals: (infinity, 4), (4, 2), (2, 7), and
(7, +infinity). We need to figure out on which of these intervals the polynomial's graph is
above the xaxis. If we'd multiplied the factors, w'd have ended up with a positive cubic
polynomial, and we know what such a cubic looks like: it starts down on the left, comes
up toward the axis, and eventually zooms upward on the right, with a bit of flexture in the
middle, something like this:
From this knowledge, we know that the polynomial can be above the axis ("greater than
zero") only on the second and fourth interval, so we can go straight to the solution:
(4, 2), (7, )
You can verify this solution from the graph:
As you can see, being familiar with polynomials and their shapes can make your life
simpler for some of these problems. But what if you haven't learned about their shapes, or
if the polynomial is more complicated, or if you have to "show your reasoning"? The
answer is using the "factor method".
The factors give us the zeroes of the polynomial, and the zeroes give us the following
intervals of positivity and negativity: (infinity, 4), (4, 2), (2, 7), and (7, +infinity). We
just need to figure out which invervals are positive and which are negative. We've got
three factors, so We'll draw up a table of factors with the intervals marked off:
This table has a row for each of the factors, a row for the number line, and a row for the
polynomial. Each row is divided into columns, with each column corresponding to an
interval on the number line.
19
We'll mark in the table the intervals where each of the factors is positive, ... and then we
mark the factors as being negative everywhere else:
The factors multiply together to create the polynomial; the signs of the factors multiply
together to give the sign of the polynomial. So we'll multiply the signs of the factors on
each interval to find the overall sign of the polynomial on that interval:
(In the first interval, from negative infinity to 4, there were three "minus" signs, and the
product of three negatives is a negative. In the second interval, from 4 to 2, there were
two "minus" signs, and the product of two negatives is a positive. And so forth.)
Now we can read the solution off the table. We need the intervals where the polynomial
is positive, so we'll pick the intervals that have a "plus" sign in them:
The easiest solution method for polynomial inequalities is using what you know about
polynomial shapes, but the shape isn't always enough to give you the answer. The testpoint method from some books will give you the answer eventually, but it can be a lot of
work. The factortable method is quicker than test points and, since no computations are
involved, it's less prone to error. So unless your instructor insists that you use the testpoint method, try to learn the factortable method. It'll make your life a lot easier.
Rational Inequalities
Solving rational inequalities is very similar to solving polynomial inequalities. But
because rational expressions have denominators (and therefore may have places where
they're not defined), you have to be a little more careful in finding your solutions.
To solve a rational inequality, you first find the zeroes (from the numerator) and the
undefined points (from the denominator). You use these zeroes and undefined points to
divide the number line into intervals. Then you find the sign of the rational on each
interval.
20
x 2 3x 2
0
x 2 16
Solution
First, we'll factor everything:
x 2 3x 2 ( x 2)( x 1)
x 2 16
( x 4)( x 4)
This polynomial fraction will be zero wherever the numerator is zero, so we'll set the
numerator equal to zero and solve:
(x + 2)(x + 1) = 0;
x + 2 = 0 or x + 1 = 0;
x = 2 or x = 1
The fraction will be undefined wherever the denominator is zero, so we'll set the
denominator equal to zero and solve:
(x + 4)(x 4) = 0;
x + 4 = 0 or x 4 = 0;
x = 4 or x = 4
These four values, 4, 2, 1, and 4, divide the number line into five intervals, namely:
(infinity, 4), (4, 2), (2, 1), (1, 4), and (4, +infinity).
we could use "test points" to find the solution to the inequality, by picking an xvalue in
each interval, plugging it into the original rational expression, simplifying to get a
numerical answer, and then checking the sign, but that process gets long and annoying
(and is prone to errors), so we'll use the easier and faster factortable method instead.
Our table has one row for each factor, a row for the number line, and a row for the
rational expression. Each row is split into columns, with each column corresponding to
an interval on the number line.
The sign of the rational expression is a result of the signs of its various factors, so we
need to find where each factor is positive:
x + 4 > 0 for x > 4;
x + 1 > 0 for x > 1;
Now we can put "plus" signs on the intervals in each row where that row's factor is
positive. Wherever a factor isn't positive, it's negative, so we'll put "minus" signs in the
other intervals of each row. Multiplying the signs down the columns, we get the overall
sign on the original rational expression on each interval:
21
Then the rational is positive on the intervals (infinity, 4), (2, 1), and (4, +infinity).
But this is an "or equal to" inequality, so we need to consider the interval endpoints, too.
If this were a polynomial inequality, we could just throw all the interval endpoints into
the solution, and we'd be done. For rationals, though, we have to be careful not to add
anything that would cause division by zero.
The interval endpoints are 4, 2, 1, and 4. I can include 2 and 1 in the solution,
because they just make the expression equal to zero by making the numerator zero. But
plugging in 4 or 4 would cause division by zero, making the rational expression
undefined, so we can't include these values in the solution.
Then the full solution is: (, 4), [2, 1], (4, )
If you have to write your solution in "inequality" notation, it would look like this:
x < 4, 2 < x < 1, and x > 4
Don't forget: "Infinity" is not a "number" in the way that, say, "2" is. "Infinity" cannot be
"included" in your solution, so never draw a square bracket next to an "infinity"
"endpoint".
22
Inverse Functions
To find the inverse of a function (the inverse of a function is the same as reflecting a
function across the line y = x), interchange x and y and then solve for y. The inverse of
f(x) is denoted by f1(x).
Solution
The equation is y = 3x + 1.
Interchange x and y. x = 3y + 1
Solve for y.
x 1 = 3y or
(x 1)/3 = y
Exponential Functions
For a > 0 and for any real number x we define ax by: ax = e x ln a
The function ax is called the exponential function with base a.
Generally, exponential functions are functions where f(x) = ax + B where the base a is
any positive real constant and B is any expression. For example, f(x) = ex 1 is an
exponential function.
Solution
(i) Plug in numbers for x and find values for y, as we have done with the table below.
23
x
y
0
1
1
2
2
4
3
8
Now plot the points and draw the graph (shown below).
y
y
9
9
x
1
x
1
1
1
2
2
(i)
(ii)
(ii) Based on the graph of (i), use transformation to shift the graph horizontally to right by
3 units, and then vertically up by 1 unit (see the graph (ii) above).
Solution
When the base a>1, an exponential function is an increasing function, and the yvalue of
an exponential function with a larger base increases faster. When the base 0<a<1, an
exponential function is a decreasing function, and the yvalue of an exponential function
with a smaller function decreases faster
The graphs of the three exponentials in the same xycoordinate system look like below:
24
x
4
3
2
1
1
2
Logarithmic functions
Logarithmic functions are the inverse of exponential functions. For example, the inverse
of y = ax is y = logax, which is the same as x = ay.
Logarithms written without a base are understood to be base 10.
log x = log10x
Logarithms written with the base e are denoted as lnx.
lnx = logex
Where the base e is an irrational number, e 2.71828 18284 59045 23536...
The definition of logarithms is explained by knowing how to convert exponential
equations to logarithmic form, and logarithmic equations to exponential form.
Solution
Based on the graphs in Example Three, by reflecting cross the line y = x, we can easily
draw the graphs as below:
25
x
4
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
1
1
2
2
3
3
4
4
5
5
(i)
(ii)
Solution
(i) Remember that the logarithm is the exponent. So the solution is x = log2.
(ii) For the same reason, the solution is 3y = 5.
The figure below is a little chart that always helped us remember how to convert from
exponential to logarithmic form and from logarithmic to exponential form.
26
x y
a
x
a a
x
1
x
a
x y
ax
y
a
a0 1
(Product Law)
loga xp = p loga x
loga (x/y) = loga x  loga y
loga p = (logb p)/( logb a)
loga a = 1
loga 1 = 0
(Power Law)
(Quotient Law)
(The Change of Base Formula)
You ought to always have these laws and formulas in mind when working with
logarithms. They will help you in such tasks as simplifying expressions containing
logarithms and solving equations containing logarithms.
(i)
812
Evaluate
(64)(512)
(ii)
1
3
Solutions
(i)
(ii)
812
(64)(512)
1
3
8
12
64
1
3
12
1
3
512
1
3
1
3
4 8
3
1
3
84
4 8
27
2 2
2 2 2
3
34
23
212
27 128
5
2
Solutions
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
Solution
Take the logarithm of both sides: log 3x = log 8
Use the power law of logarithms to simplify the equation: x log 3 = log 8
Solve for x by dividing each side by log 3: x = (log 8)/(log 3)
A decimal approximation may be found if desired: x = 1.8927892
28
(ii)
Solve log2 x = 3
Solution
(i)
(ii)
Solution
Let u = 5x, the equation becomes u2 +2u 8 = 0
Break it into two factors: (u+4)(u2) = 0
So u = 4 or u = 2, that means 5x = 4 or 5x = 2
There is no solution for 5x = 4.
To solve 5x = 2, take the logarithm of both sides: log 5x = log 2
Use the power law of logarithms to simplify the equation: x log 5 = log 2
Solve for x by dividing each side by log 5: x = (log 2)/(log 5) = 0.430676
29