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The binomial theorem describes the algebraic expansion of powers of a binomia, an algebraic expression of the sum or the difference of two terms, or a polynomial with two terms In other words, the Binomial Theorem is a quick way (a less slow way) of expanding (or multiplying out) a binomial expression that has been raised to some (generally inconveniently large) power. For instance, the 10 expression (3x 2) would be very painful to multiply out by hand. Thankfully, somebody figured out a formula for this expansion, and we can plug the binomial 3x 2 and the power 10 into that formula to get that expanded (multiplied-out) form. According to the theorem, it is possible to expand the power (x + y) into a sum involving terms of the b c form ax y , where the exponents b and c are nonnegative integers with b + c = n, and the coefficient a of each term is a specific positive integer depending on n and b. When an exponent is zero, the corresponding power is usually omitted from the term. For example,

The coefficient a in the term of x y is known as the binomial coefficient or (the two have the same value). These coefficients for varying n and b can be arranged to form Pascal's triangle. These numbers also arise in combinatorics, where gives the number of different combinations of belements that can be chosen from an n-element set. According to the theorem, it is possible to expand any power of x + y into a sum of the form

b c

where each is a specific positive integer known as binomial coefficient. This formula is also referred to as the Binomial Formula or theBinomial Identity. Using summation notation, it can be written as

The final expression follows from the previous one by the symmetry of x and y in the first expression, and by comparison it follows that the sequence of binomial coefficients in the formula is symmetrical. A variant of the binomial formula is obtained by substituting 1 for y, so that it involves only a single variable. In this form, the formula reads

or equivalently

The most basic example of the binomial theorem is the formula for the square ofx + y:

The binomial coefficients 1, 2, 1 appearing in this expansion correspond to the third row of Pascal's triangle. The coefficients of higher powers of x + y correspond to later rows of the triangle:

Notice that: 1. the powers of x go down until it reaches 0 ( in .) ) until it reaches n (also the n in .) ),starting value is n (the n

2. the powers of y go up from 0 (

3. the nth row of the Pascal's Triangle will be the coefficients of the expanded binomial. (Note that the top is row 0.) 4. for each line, the number of products (i.e. the sum of the coefficients) is equal to 5. for each line, the number of product groups is equal to . .

The binomial theorem can be applied to the powers of any binomial. For example,

For a binomial involving subtraction, the theorem can be applied as long as the opposite of the second term is used. This has the effect of changing the sign of every other term in the expansion:

Multiplying: The Binomial Theorem shows what happens when you multiply a binomial by itself (as many times as you want). It works because there is a pattern.

Exponents: An exponent says how many times to use something in a multiplication. In this example: 8 = 8 8 = 64 An exponent of 1 means just to have it appear once, so you get the original value: Example: 8 = 8 An exponent of 0 means not to use it at all, and we have only 1: Example: 8 = 1
0 1 2

Exponents of (a+b) We will use the simple binomial a+b, but it could be any binomial. Let us start with an exponent of 0 and build upwards. Exponent of 0 When an exponent is 0, you get 1: (a+b) = 1 Exponent of 1 When the exponent is 1, you get the original value, unchanged: (a+b) = a+b Exponent of 2 An exponent of 2 means to multiply by itself (see how to multiply polynomials): (a+b) = (a+b)(a+b) = a + 2ab + b Exponent of 3 For an exponent of 3 just multiply again:
2 2 2 1 0

(a+b) = (a+b)(a + 2ab + b ) = a + 3a b + 3ab + b The Pattern In the last result we got: a + 3a b + 3ab + b
3 2 2 3

Now, notice the exponents of a. They start at 3 and go down: 3, 2, 1, 0:

Likewise the exponents of b go upwards: 0, 1, 2, 3:

If we number the terms 0 to n, we get this: k=0 a 1


k=1 a b

k=2 a b

k=3 1 b

Which can be brought together into this: a b

n-k k

Example: When the exponent, n, is 3. The terms are: k=0: a b 3-0 0 =a b 3 =a

n-k k

k=1: a b 3-1 1 =a b 2 =a b
n-k k

k=2: a b 3-2 2 =a b 2 = ab
n-k k

k=3: a b 3-3 3 =a b 3 =b
n-k k

We use the binomial theorem to help us expand binomials to any given power without direct multiplication. As we have seen, multiplication can be time-consuming or even not possible in some cases. Properties of the Binomial Expansion (a + b)

There are n + 1 terms. n n The first term is a and the final term is b . Progressing from the first term to the last, the exponent of a decreases by 1 from term to term while the exponent of b increases by 1. In addition, the sum of the exponents of a and b in each term is n. If the coefficient of each term is multiplied by the exponent of a in that term, and the product is divided by the number of that term, we obtain the coefficient of the next term.

To "expand" (a + b) , we would anticipate the following terms, in which the sum of all the exponents is 5: (a + b) = ? a + ? a b + ? a b + ? a b + ? ab + ? b The question is, What are the coefficients? They are called the binomial coefficients. In the expansion of (a + b) , the binomial coefficients are 1 4 6 4 1; line (1) above. Note the symmetry: The coefficients from left to right are the same right to left. The answer to the question, "What are the binomial coefficients?" is called the binomial theorem. It shows how to calculate the coefficients in the expansion of (a + b) . The symbol for a binomial coefficient is the lower index k indicates which term. For example, when n = 5, each term in the expansion of (a + b) will look like this: a k will successively take on the values 0 through 5. (a + b) =
5 5k k 5 n 4 5 5 4 3 2 2 3 4 5

. The upper index n is the exponent of the expansion;

a +

ab +

ab +

3 2

ab +

2 3

ab +

Notice: The lower index is equal to the exponent of b. The first term, then, has k = 0, because in the first term, b appears as b , which is 1. Now, what are these binomial coefficients, ?

The theorem states that the binomial coefficients are none other than the combinatorial numbers, Ck . = Ck (a + b) = C0 a + C1 a b + C2 a b + C3 a b + C4 ab + C5 b = 1a +
5 5 5 5 5 5 4 5 3 2 5 2 3 5 4 5 5 n n

a b+

ab +
3 2

3 2

ab +
2 3 4

2 3

ab +

=a + 5a b + 10a b + 10a b + 5ab + b

The binomial coefficients here are 1 5 10 10 5 1. Note the symmetry. Note also that the coefficient of the first term is 1, and the coefficient of the second term is the same as the exponent of (a + b), which here is 5.

Using sigma notation, and factorials for the combinatorial numbers, here is the binomial theorem:

What follows the summation sign is the general term. Each term in the sum will look like that -- the first term having k = 0; then k = 1,k = 2, and so on, up to k = n. Notice that the sum of the exponents (n k) + k, always equals n. Example 1. a) The term a b occurs in the expansion of what binomial? Answer. (a + b) . The sum of 8 + 4 is 12. b) In that expansion, what number is the coefficient of a b ? Answer. It is the combinatorial number,
12 8 4 12 8 4

C4 =

12 11 10 9 = 495 1 2 3 4

Note again: The lower index, in this case 4, is the exponent of b. This same number is also the coefficient of a b , since
4 8 12

C8 =