# Thread: How to factor x^5-5x^3+4x ?

1. ## How to factor x^5-5x^3+4x ?

x^5-5x^3+4x

...I don't know exactly how to do that :-|

2. Originally Posted by echorobotics
x^5-5x^3+4x

...I don't know exactly how to do that :-|
$x^5 - 5x^3 + 4x = x(x^4 - 5x^2 + 4)$.

Now you have a quadratic in $x^2$. So let $X = x^2$.

$= x(X^2 - 5X + 4)$

$= x(X - 1)(X - 4)$

$= x(x^2 - 1)(x^2 - 4)$

Now use difference of two squares

$= x(x^2 - 1^2)(x^2 - 2^2)$

$= x(x - 1)(x + 1)(x - 2)(x + 2)$.

3. Or.
Take the possible zero's using the rational rooth theorem.
$\pm1,\pm2,\pm3,\pm4
$

1.Then used synthetic division a few times.
2.Once done, you will have found all the zero's (where r=0).
3.Then just put it in factored form.

1.
1) 1,0,-5,0,4
$1(1)+0=1(1)-5=-4*1+0=-4+4=0$
$r=0$
-1) 1,1,-4,-4
$1(-1)+1=0(1)+(-4)=-4+4=0$
$r=0$

2) 1,0,-4,0
$1(2)+0=2(2)+(-4)=0(2)+0=0$
$r=0$

-2) 1,2,0,0
$1(-2)+2=0$
$r=0$

3.Now look at the coefficients left.

1,0,0,0
subtract leading exponent by number of divisions made::

5-4=1
therefore the coefficient is x.

place the zero's in factored form
$(x+1)(x-1)(x+2)(x-2)$

multiply by x

$x(x+1)(x-1)(x+2)(x-2)$

Seems harder & longer, but sometimes this method can be a life saver >.> for me at least

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