Tim S.

asked • 07/22/17

I've been at it all day and I'm fried...

Solve the problem. Use the linear factor theorem to find the polynomial of degree 3 having zeroes x=5, x=1-2i, and x=1+2i. Assume a lead coefficient of 1.

1 Expert Answer


Mark M. answered • 07/22/17

5.0 (243)

Mathematics Teacher - NCLB Highly Qualified

Victoria V.

When you multiply these, multiply the (x-1+2i) and (x-1-2i) first.  You should get a quadratic with NO IMAGINARY TERMS.  They should all cancel out if you have multiplied correctly.  
Then, multiply the (x-5) with the new "x2 + bx + c" you obtained above by multiplying the complex conjugates.


Arturo O.

Also keep in mind that if one of the zeros is complex, then its complex conjugate has to be a zero, in order to have real coefficients.  So if the problem asked for a polynomial of degree 3 but only gave you 5 and 1-2i as zeros, you should know that the 3rd root is 1+2i.
One you have the 3 zeros x1, x2, and x3, the polynomial comes from expanding
f(x) = A(x - x1)(x - x2)(x - x3),
where A is real and A ≠ 0.  Since the problem wants a lead coefficient of 1, then
A = 1.


Tim S.

Thank you very much.


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