Zeros of a Polynomial Zeros (Solutions) Real Zeros Rational or Irrational Zeros Complex Zeros Complex Number and its Conjugate
Rational Zero Theorem If the polynomial f(x) = a n x n + a n-1 x n-1 +... + a 1 x + a 0 has integer coefficients, then every rational zero of f(x) is of the form p q where p is a factor of the constant a 0 and q is a factor of the leading coefficient a n.
Rational Root (Zero) Theorem If “q” is the leading coefficient and “p” is the constant term of a polynomial, then the only possible rational roots are + factors of “p” divided by + factors of “q”. (p / q) Example: To find the POSSIBLE rational roots of f(x), we need the FACTORS of the leading coefficient (6 for this example) and the factors of the constant term (4, for this example). Possible rational roots are
List all possible rational zeros of f(x) = x 3 + 2x 2 – 5x – 6.
List all possible rational zeros of f(x) = 4x 5 + 12x 4 – x – 3.
How do we know which possibilities are really zeros (solutions)? Use trial and error and synthetic division to see if one of the possible zeros is actually a zero. Remember: When dividing by x – c, if the remainder is 0 when using synthetic division, then c is a zero of the polynomial. If c is a zero, then solve the polynomial resulting from the synthetic division to find the other zeros.
Finding the Rational Zeros of a Polynomial 1.List all possible rational zeros of the polynomial using the Rational Zero Theorem. 2.Use synthetic division on each possible rational zero and the polynomial until one gives a remainder of zero. This means you have found a zero, as well as a factor. 3.Write the polynomial as the product of this factor and the quotient. 4.Repeat procedure on the quotient until the quotient is quadratic. 5.Once the quotient is quadratic, factor or use the quadratic formula to find the remaining real and imaginary zeros.
How many zeros does a polynomial with rational coefficients have? An nth degree polynomial has a total of n zeros. Some may be rational, irrational or complex. Because all coefficients are RATIONAL, irrational roots exist in pairs (both the irrational # and its conjugate). Complex roots also exist in pairs (both the complex # and its conjugate). If a + bi is a root, a – bi is a root If is a root, is a root. NOTE: Sometimes it is helpful to graph the function and find the x-intercepts (zeros) to narrow down all the possible zeros.
Remember… Complex zeros come in pairs as complex conjugates: a + bi, a – bi Irrational zeros come in pairs.
Practice Find a polynomial function (in factored form) of degree 3 with 2 and i as zeros.
More Practice – woohoo! Find a polynomial function (in factored form) of degree 5 with -1/2 as a zero with multiplicity 2, 0 as a zero of multiplicity 1, and 1 as a zero of multiplicity 2.
Double woohoo! Find a third-degree polynomial function f(x) with real coefficients that has -3 and i as zeros and such that f(1) = 8. Extra Fun! Suppose that a polynomial function of degree 4 with rational coefficients has i and –3 +√3 as zeros. Find the other zero(s).