Difference between revisions of "Factoring"

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===Why Factor===
 
===Why Factor===
Factoring equations is an essential part of problem solving. Applying number theory to products yields many results.
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Factoring equations is an essential part of problem solving. Applying [[Number Theory | number theory]] to products yields many results.
  
 
There are many ways to factor.
 
There are many ways to factor.
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These factorizations are useful for problem that could otherwise be solved by [[Newton sums]] or problems that give a polynomial, and ask a question about the roots.  Combined with [[Vieta's formulas]], these are excellent factorizations that show up everywhere.
 
These factorizations are useful for problem that could otherwise be solved by [[Newton sums]] or problems that give a polynomial, and ask a question about the roots.  Combined with [[Vieta's formulas]], these are excellent factorizations that show up everywhere.
  
*<math>\displaystyle (a+b+c)^2=a^2+b^2+c^2+2(ab+bc+ac)</math>
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*<math>\displaystyle (a+b+c)^2=a^2+b^2+c^2+2(ab+bc+ca)</math>
  
*<math>\displaystyle (a+b+c)^3=a^3+b^3+c^3+3(a+b)(b+c)(a+c)</math>
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*<math>\displaystyle (a+b+c)^3=a^3+b^3+c^3+3(a+b)(b+c)(c+a)</math>
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*<math>\displaystyle (a+b+c)^5=a^5+b^5+c^5+5(a+b)(b+c)(c+a)(a^2+b^2+c^2+ab+bc+ca) </math>
 
== Another Useful Factorization ==
 
== Another Useful Factorization ==
 
<math>a^3+b^3+c^3-3abc=(a+b+c)(a^2+b^2+c^2-ab-bc-ca)</math>
 
<math>a^3+b^3+c^3-3abc=(a+b+c)(a^2+b^2+c^2-ab-bc-ca)</math>

Revision as of 10:28, 21 June 2006

Note to readers and editers: Please fix up this page by adding in material from Joe's awesome factoring page.


Why Factor

Factoring equations is an essential part of problem solving. Applying number theory to products yields many results.

There are many ways to factor.

Difference of Squares

$a^2-b^2=(a+b)(a-b)$

Difference of Cubes

$a^3-b^3=(a-b)(a^2+ab+b^2)$

Sum of Cubes

$a^3+b^3=(a+b)(a^2-ab+b^2)$

Simon's Trick

See Simon's Favorite Factoring Trick (This is not a recognized formula, please do not quote it on the USAMO or similar national proof contests)

Summing Series

Also, it is helpful to know how to sum arithmetic series and geometric series.

Vieta's/Newton Factorizations

These factorizations are useful for problem that could otherwise be solved by Newton sums or problems that give a polynomial, and ask a question about the roots. Combined with Vieta's formulas, these are excellent factorizations that show up everywhere.

  • $\displaystyle (a+b+c)^2=a^2+b^2+c^2+2(ab+bc+ca)$
  • $\displaystyle (a+b+c)^3=a^3+b^3+c^3+3(a+b)(b+c)(c+a)$
  • $\displaystyle (a+b+c)^5=a^5+b^5+c^5+5(a+b)(b+c)(c+a)(a^2+b^2+c^2+ab+bc+ca)$

Another Useful Factorization

$a^3+b^3+c^3-3abc=(a+b+c)(a^2+b^2+c^2-ab-bc-ca)$

Other Resources

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