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Math Help - Division of polynomials

  1. #1
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    Division of polynomials

    Hi all

    We're supposed to use the remainder theorem (f(p) = r) in this question.

    When x^3 + ax^2 + bx + 3 is divided by (x-5), the remainder is 2. When it is divided by (x+3), the remainder is 7. What are the values of a and b?

    I've set
    f(5)=2 and f(-3)=7, and then isolated a and b, and used substitution to get 2839/270 for a, and 1909/30 for b.

    Did I do this correctly?
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  2. #2
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    You can always check the answer by plugging in the values of a and b, and the dividing by the given polynomials and see if the remainders match. To be honest, the numbers seem very ugly.

    The easiest way is to plug in the values of x and then have a system of equations for a and b.
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  3. #3
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    Hello, username11111!

    When x^3 + ax^2 + bx + 3 is divided by (x-5), the remainder is 2.
    When it is divided by (x+3), the remainder is 7.
    What are the values of a and b ?

    I've set: . f(5)=2\text{ and }f(-3)=7, .and then isolated a and b,
    and used substitution to get: . a = \frac{2839}{270},\;b = \frac{1909}{30}

    Did I do this correctly? . . . . Your game plan is correct, but . . .

    \begin{array}{ccccccccc}f(5) \:=\:2\!: & 125 + 25a + 5b + 3 &=& 5 & \Rightarrow & 25a + 5b &=& \text{-}123 &  {\color{blue}[1]} \\ <br />
f(\text{-}3)\:=\: 7\!: & \text{-}27 + 9a - 3b + 3 &=& 7 & \Rightarrow & 9a - 3b &=& 31  & {\color{blue}[2]} \end{array}


    \begin{array}{ccccc}\text{Multiply {\color{blue}[1]} by 3:} & 75a + 15b &=& \text{-}369 \\<br />
\text{Multiply {\color{blue}[2]} by 5:} & 45a - 15b &=& 155 \end{array}

    . . Add: . 120a \:=\:-214 \quad\Rightarrow\quad\boxed{ a \:=\:-\tfrac{107}{60}}

    Substitute into [1]: . 25\left(\text{-}\tfrac{107}{60}\right) + 5b \:=\:\text{-}123 \quad\Rightarrow\quad \boxed{b \:=\:-\tfrac{941}{60}}


    The function is: . f(x) \;=\;x^3 - \frac{107}{60}x^2 - \frac{941}{60}x + 3

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