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Math Help - Dividing Polynomials AND Factoring Polynomials

  1. #1
    Joe
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    Dividing Polynomials AND Factoring Polynomials

    Hi everyone!

    I had a few questions regarding polynomials.

    1) I am confused about dividing variables. If you have an x/x is that still x? or do they cancel each other out? For example 4x/2x = 2x or 2?
    Also what if one has a square? 4xsquared/2x is that 2x?
    What if both have squares?

    2) Common Factoring
    Is there a simple way to find the greatest common factor in a set of polynomials?
    12x + 18y GCF= 6 correct?
    2mn-n GCF= n?
    = 2(2mn-n)? when you divide the terms by n is this what i should get? This is kinda of where my first question comes in.

    Thanks so much!

    I really appreciate the help!
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  2. #2
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    1) \frac{x}{x}=1. Anything over itself, provided it's not zero is 1. That's some property which I don't remember the name of right now. As for higher polynomials, take this into account: \frac{x^n}{x^a}=x^{n-a}. See how that applies to your question.

    2. Using your example, you have the GCF. For the second one, check it out again. You have 2mn-n. What term is included in both parts?

    Jameson
    Last edited by Jameson; November 29th 2005 at 02:49 PM.
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  3. #3
    Joe
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    Just n, isn't it?
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  4. #4
    MHF Contributor
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    Yes
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  5. #5
    Joe
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    Ok last question on the topic; you really have cleared things up for me! Thanks!

    If you divide 2mn by n you are left with 2mn right? I'm confused on that part.
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  6. #6
    MHF Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe
    Ok last question on the topic; you really have cleared things up for me! Thanks!

    If you divide 2mn by n you are left with 2mn right? I'm confused on that part.
    \frac{2mn}{n}=\frac{2m}{1}*\frac{n}{n}=?

    That should help.
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