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If you're still not sure what exponents are, feel free to travel back in time to Unit 1. We're traveling to whatever planet polynomials are from in this little fantasy of ours, so we don't see why...
It's been a while since we mentioned them, and now your brain is in a total "exponent" zone. It's okay. We're here for you.Like aliens, polynomials come in many shapes, sizes, and extradimensional...
Evaluating a polynomial is like evaluating any other expression. We substitute the given value(s) for each and every variable. Then we do the necessary plusing and minusing to find an answer. If yo...
Adding PolynomialsTo add polynomials, all we do is combine like terms in the same way as we would with any other expression. Sorry, we know you were probably hoping for something new and wildly d...
Multiplication of a Monomial and a Polynomial
The easiest case of polynomial multiplication is multiplying a monomial and a polynomial. In this case, we "distribute" the monomial to each term in the polynomial. We really do distribute it, thou...
Multiplication of Two Binomials
Multiplying two binomials is still an application of the distributive property. In fact, we can use the distributive property even more than we did in the first example. It's like the stuffing and...
Special Cases of Binomial Multiplication
There are some special cases of binomial multiplication that every algebra student should know. Some are useful because they can save you from doing more work than you absolutely need to. Others ar...
General Multiplication of Polynomials
Alas, there are no quick and easy patterns to use when we're multiplying any two polynomials that don't fit the description of one of our special cases. We only need to apply the distributive prope...
The Greatest Common Factor
Been here and done this, but we'll go through a couple of examples to jog your memory. Sorry, we know how much your memory despises physical exercise.Sample ProblemFactor the polynomial x2 + x.Sinc...
Sometimes we can tell by looking at a polynomial that it's a product of a particular type. Not that we want to put polynomials into a box, but...it does preserve their freshness.Difference of Two S...
Trial and Error
We already know how to factor quadratic polynomials that are the result of multiplying a sum and difference, or the result of squaring a binomial with degree 1. Once in a while, though, quadratic p...
Factoring by Grouping
When we use FOIL to multiply two binomials, we multiply the first, outside, inside, and last terms to get four products: (x + y)(a + b) = ax + bx + ay + by.Sometimes we have no choice but to use th...
By now, your head might be spinning. Very reasonably, we might add. If so, focus on a single spot in the room and don't look away. Common factors, grouping, squares, sums, differences...gah! It's h...
Solving Polynomial Equations
To solve a polynomial equation, we need to find the values of x that make the polynomial 0. That is, we want to find the roots of the polynomial. Then, if we want to give it a root canal, we'll kno...
In the Real World
Scientific NotationEarth-shattering fact: Scientists use math. Some mathematicians even use science. Too bad more of them don't use soap. Ooh, ice burn.We're not only talking about white-haired men...
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© 2013 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved. We love your brain and respect your privacy.