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Dividing Polynomials; Remainder and Factor Theorems

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Objectives –Use long division to divide polynomials. –Use synthetic division to divide polynomials. –Evaluate a polynomials using the Remainder Theorem. –Use the Factor Theorem to solve a polynomial equation.

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How do you divide a polynomial by another polynomial? Perform long division, as you do with numbers! Remember, division is repeated subtraction, so each time you have a new term, you must SUBTRACT it from the previous term. Work from left to right, starting with the highest degree term. Just as with numbers, there may be a remainder left. The divisor may not go into the dividend evenly.

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Example Divide using long division. State the quotient, q(x), and the remainder, r(x). (6x ³ + 17x² + 27x + 20) (3x + 4)

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Example Divide using long division. State the quotient, q(x), and the remainder, r(x).

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Remainders can be useful! The remainder theorem states: If the polynomial f(x) is divided by (x – c), then the remainder is f(c). If you can quickly divide, this provides a nice alternative to evaluating f(c).

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Synthetic Division Quick method of dividing polynomials Used when the divisor is of the form x – c Last column is always the remainder

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Example Divide using synthetic division.

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Example Divide using synthetic division.

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Factor Theorem f(x) is a polynomial, therefore f(c) = 0 if and only if x – c is a factor of f(x). Or in other words, –If f(c) = 0, then x – c is a factor of f(x). –If x – c is a factor of f(x), then f(c) = 0. If we know a factor, we know a zero! If we know a zero, we know a factor!

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Zero of Polynomials If f(x) is a polynomial and if c is a number such that f(c) = 0, then we say that c is a zero of f(x). The following are equivalent ways of saying the same thing. 1.c is a zero of f(x) 2.x – c is a factor of f(x)

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Example Use the Remainder Theorem to find the indicated function value.

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