Consider a polynomial of degree ,
Let have roots . Define the sum:
Newton's sums tell us that,
(Define for .)
We also can write:
where denotes the -th elementary symmetric sum.
Let be the roots of a given polynomial . Then, we have that
Multiplying each equation by , respectively,
- Note (Warning!): This technically only proves the statements for the cases where . For the cases where , an argument based on analyzing individual monomials in the expansion can be used (see http://web.stanford.edu/~marykw/classes/CS250_W19/Netwons_Identities.pdf, for example.)
For a more concrete example, consider the polynomial . Let the roots of be and . Find and .
Newton's Sums tell us that:
Solving, first for , and then for the other variables, yields,
Which gives us our desired solutions, and .