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# Factor Theorem The division algorithm P(x)=(x-r)Q(x)+R may, because of the remainder theorem (Theorem 2), be written in a form

where R is replaced by P(r): P(x) = (x - r)Q(x) + P(r) It is easy to see that x - r and only if r theorem: is a factor of P(x) if and only if P(r)-0; that is, if

## is a zero of the polynomial P(x). This result is known as the factor

Theorem 1 Factor Theorem If r is a zero of the polynomial P(x), then x - r is a factor of P(x). Conversely, if x - r is a factor of P(x), then r is a zero of P(x).

The relationship between zeros, roots, factors, and x intercepts is fundamental to the study of polynomials. With the addition of the factor theorem, we now know that the following statements are equivalent for any polynomial P(x): 1. 2. 3. r is a root of the equation P(x) = 0. r is a zero of P(x). x - r is a factor of P(x).

If, in addition, the coefcients of P(x) are real numbers and r is a real number, then

we can add a fourth statement to this list: 4. r is an x intercept of the graph of P(x).

EXAMPLE 1 Factors, Zeros, Roots, and Intercepts (A) Use the factor theorem to show that x +1 is a factor of P(x)=x25 +1 (B) What are the zeros of P(x) =3(x- 5)(x+2)(x-3)? (C) What are the roots of x4 -1? (D) What are the x intercepts of the graph of P(x)= x4 -1? Solutions (A) Since x +1 = x-(-1), we have r= -1 and Hence, -1 is a zero of P(x)= x25+1. By

the factor theorem, x-(-1)= X+1 is a factor of x25+1. (B) Since (x-5), (x+2), and (x-3) are all factors of P(x), 5,-2, and 3 are zeros of P(x). (C) Factoring the left side, we have X4-1= 0 (x2-1)( x2+1)= 0 (x-1)(x+ 1)(x-i)(x+i)=0 Thus, the roots of X4-1= 0 are 1,-1, i, and-i.

(D) From part C, the zeros of P(x) are 1,-1, i, and-i. However, x intercepts must FIGURE 1 x intercepts of P(x) = x41. be real numbers. Thus the x intercepts of the graph of P(x)= X4-1 are 1 and -1 (see Fig. 1).

Fundamental Theorem of Algebra Theorem 2 Theorem 2, often referred to as the fundamental theorem of algebra, requires verication that is beyond the scope of this book, so we state it without proof. Fundamental Theorem of Algebra Every polynomial P(x) of degree n > 0 has at least one zero.

If is a polynomial of degree n>0 with complex coefcients, then, according to Theorem 2, it has at least one zero, say r1. According to the factor theorem, x-r1is a factor of P(x). Thus, P(x)=(x- r1)Q1(x) where Q1(x) is a polynomial of degree n-1. If n-1=0, then Q1(x)=an. If

n-1>0, then, by Theorem 2, Q1(x) has at least one zero, say r2. And Q1(x)=(x- r2)Q2(x) Where Q2(x) is a polynomial of degree n 2 Thus, P(x)=( x - r1)(x - r2)Q2(x) If n 2=0, then Q2(x) =an. If n -2 >0, then Q2(x) has at least one zero, say r3. And Q2(x)=(x - r3)Q3(x)

where Q3(x) is a polynomial of degree n- 3. We continue in this way until Qk(x) is of degree zerothat is, until k = n. At this point, Qn(x) = an, and we have

P(x) = (x - r1)(x - r2). . . . .(x - rn)an Thus, r1, r2, . . . , rnare n zeros, not necessarily distinct, of P(x). Is it possible for P(x) to have more than these n zeros? Lets assume that r is a number different from the zeros above. Then P(r) = an(r -r1)(r - r2). . . . .(r = rn) 0 since r is not equal to any of the zeros. Hence, r is not a zero, and we conclude that r1, r2, . . . , rnare the only zeros of P(x). We have just sketched a proof of Theorem 3.

Theorem 3 n Zeros Theorem Every polynomial P(x) of degree n >0 can be expressed as the product of n linear factors. Hence, P(x) has exactly n zerosnot necessarily distinct.

Theorems 2 and 3 were rst proved in 1797 by Carl Friedrich Gauss, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, at the age of 20. If P(x) is represented as the product of linear factors and x- r occurs m times, then r is called a zero of multiplicity m. For example, if P(x) = 4(x 5)3(x+1)2(x- i)(x+ i) then this seventh-degree polynomial has seven zeros, not all distinct. That is, 5 is a zero of multiplicity 3, or a triple zero; -1 is a zero of multiplicity 2, or a double

zero; and i and -i are zeros of multiplicity 1, or simple zeros. Thus, this seventhdegree polynomial has exactly seven zeros if we count 5 and -1 with their respective multiplicities. EXAMPLE 2 Factoring a Polynomial If -2 is a double zero of P(x)= x2 7x2+ 4x+20, write P(x) as a product of rst-degree factors. Solution Since -2 is a double zero of P(x), we can write

P(x) = (x + 2)2Q(x) =(x2+ 4x +4)Q(x) and nd Q(x) by dividing P(x) by x2+ 4x +4. Carrying out the algebraic long division, we obtain Q(x)= x2- 4x +5 The zeros of Q(x) are found, using the quadratic formula, to be 2 - i and 2+ i.

Thus, P(x) written as a product of linear factors is P(x)= (x+ 2)2[x- (2- i)][x- (2 + i)] [Note: Any time Q(x) is a quadratic polynomial, its zeros can be found using the quadratic formula.] Imaginary Zeros Something interesting happens if we restrict the coefcients of a polynomial to real numbers. Lets use the quadratic formula to nd the zeros of the polynomial P(x)= x2 6x + 13

## To nd the zeros of P(x), we solve P(x)=0:

The zeros of P(x) are 3 - 2i and 3 + 2i, conjugate imaginary numbers (see Section 2-5). Also observe that the imaginary zeros in Example 2 are the conjugate imaginary numbers 2 - i and 2 + i. in the following theorem:

Theorem 4 Imaginary Zeros Theorem Imaginary zeros of polynomials with real coefcients, if they exist, occur in conjugate pairs.

As a consequence of Theorems 3 and 4, we also know (think this through) the following:

Theorem 5 Real Zeros and Odd-Degree Polynomials A polynomial of odd degree with real coefcients always has at least one real zero.

Rational Zeros First note that a polynomial with rational coefcients can always be written as a constant times a polynomial with integer coefcients. For example,

Thus, it is sufcient to conne our attention to polynomials with integer coefcients. We introduce the rational zero theorem by examining the following quadratic polynomial whose zeros can be found easily by factoring

, of the zeros are both integer factors of -5, the constant term in P(x). The denominators 2 and 3 of the zeros are both integer factors of 6, the coefficient of the highest-degree term in P(x). These observations are generalized in Theorem 6.