Questions tagged [roots]

Questions about the set of values at which a given function evaluates to zero. For questions about "square roots", "cube roots" and such, consider using the (radicals) and the (arithmetic) tag. For questions about roots of Lie algebras, use the (lie-algebra) tag instead.

Questions regarding values $x$, such that a function $f$ evaluates to zero at $x$. For questions about "square roots", "cube roots" and such, consider using the and the tag. For questions about roots of Lie algebras, use the tag instead.

5935 questions
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Rational roots of polynomials

Can one construct a sequence $(a_k)_{k\geqslant 0}$ of rational numbers such that, for every positive integer $n$ the polynomial $a_nX^n+a_{n-1}X^{n-1}+\cdots +a_0$ has exactly $n$ distinct rational roots ? If we cannot construct it explicitly, can…
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Why are the solutions of polynomial equations so unconstrained over the quaternions?

An $n$th-degree polynomial has at most $n$ distinct zeroes in the complex numbers. But it may have an uncountable set of zeroes in the quaternions. For example, $x^2+1$ has two zeroes in $\mathbb C$, but in $\mathbb H$, ${\bf i}\cos x + {\bf…
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Continuity of the roots of a polynomial in terms of its coefficients

It's commonly stated that the roots of a polynomial are a continuous function of the coefficients. How is this statement formalized? I would assume it's by restricting to polynomials of a fixed degree n (maybe monic? seems like that shouldn't…
Harry Altman
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Polynomials such that roots=coefficients

Here is my question : Are there monic polynomials with degree $\geq 5$ such that they have the same real all non zero roots and coefficients ? Mathematically, prove or disprove the existence of $n \geq 5$ such that $$\exists (z_1,\ldots, z_n) \in…
Gabriel Romon
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Denesting radicals like $\sqrt[3]{\sqrt[3]{2} - 1}$

The following result discussed by Ramanujan is very famous: $$\sqrt[3]{\sqrt[3]{2} - 1} = \sqrt[3]{\frac{1}{9}} - \sqrt[3]{\frac{2}{9}} + \sqrt[3]{\frac{4}{9}}\tag {1}$$ and can be easily proved by cubing both sides and using $x = \sqrt[3]{2}$ for…
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Are these solutions of $2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}}$ correct?

Find $x$ in $$ \Large 2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}}$$ A trick to solve this is to see that $$\large 2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}} \quad\implies\quad 2 = x^{\Big(x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}}\Big)} =…
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What is a real world application of polynomial factoring?

The wife and I are sitting here on a Saturday night doing some algebra homework. We're factoring polynomials and had the same thought at the same time: when will we use this? I feel a bit silly because it always bugged me when people asked that in…
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A "new" general formula for the quadratic equation?

Maybe the question is very trivial in a sense. So, it doesn't work for anyone. A few years ago, when I was a seventh-grade student, I had found a quadratic formula for myself. Unfortunately, I didn't have the chance to show it to my teacher at that…
10 answers

Why does the discriminant in the Quadratic Formula reveal the number of real solutions?

Why does the discriminant in the quadratic formula reveal the number of real solutions to a quadratic equation? That is, we have one real solution if $$b^2 -4ac = 0,$$ we have two real solutions if $$b^2 -4ac > 0,$$ and we have no real solutions…
5 answers

AM-GM-HM Triplets

I want to understand what values can be simultaneously attained as the arithmetic (AM), geometric (GM), and harmonic (HM) means of finite sequences of positive real numbers. Precisely, for what points $(G, H) \in \mathbb R^2_{\geqslant 0}$, do there…
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Is There A Polynomial That Has Infinitely Many Roots?

Is there a polynomial function $P(x)$ with real coefficients that has an infinite number of roots? What about if $P(x)$ is the null polynomial, $P(x)=0$ for all x?
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Why is it so hard to find the roots of polynomial equations?

The question that follows was inspired by this question: When trying to solve for the roots of a polynomial equation, the quadratic formula is much more simple than the cubic formula and the cubic formula is much more simple than the quartic…
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Only 12 polynomials exist with given properties

Prove that there are only 12 polynomials that have all real roots, and whose coefficients are all $-1$ or $1$. (zero coefficients are not allowed, and constant polynomials do not count.) Two of them are obviously $x-1$ and $x+1$. I tried…
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Paradox: Roots of a polynomial require less information to express than coefficients?

A somewhat information theoretical paradox occurred to me, and I was wondering if anyone could resolve it. Let $p(x) = x^n + c_{n-1} x^{n-1} + \cdots + c_0 = (x - r_0) \cdots (x - r_{n-1})$ be a degree $n$ polynomial with leading coefficient $1$.…
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Why does this distribution of polynomial roots resemble a collection of affine IFS fractals?

Consider the following spectacular image, created by Sam Derbyshire and described in John Baez's article "The Beauty of Roots": In this image are plotted all the complex roots of all polynomials of degree $\le 24$ with coefficients drawn from the…
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