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Math Help - Polynomials

  1. #1
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    Polynomials

    How do I factor a polynomial of the form ax^2 + bx + c whena is not equal to 1. I' to describe both the grouping approach as well as reversing FOIL. Contrast the tow methods by means of an example and deicuss which is the best method and why. I haven't a clue how o answer this! Thanks for your help!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member topher0805's Avatar
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    Use the quadratic equation.

    x = \frac {b \pm \sqrt {b^2 - 4ac}}{2a}
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  3. #3
    Eater of Worlds
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    When a is not equal to 1, then find two numbers such that when they are multiplied they equal ac and when added equal b.

    Ex:

    3x^{2}+9x-12

    What two numbers when multiplied equal 3*(-12) = -36 and when added equal 9?.

    How about 12 and -3?.

    3x^{2}+12x-3x-12

    Group:

    3x(x+4)-3(x+4)

    3(x-1)(x+4)
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