# 3.4 Graphs of polynomial functions

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In this section, you will:
• Recognize characteristics of graphs of polynomial functions.
• Use factoring to ﬁnd zeros of polynomial functions.
• Identify zeros and their multiplicities.
• Determine end behavior.
• Understand the relationship between degree and turning points.
• Graph polynomial functions.
• Use the Intermediate Value Theorem.

The revenue in millions of dollars for a fictional cable company from 2006 through 2013 is shown in [link] .

 Year 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Revenues 52.4 52.8 51.2 49.5 48.6 48.6 48.7 47.1

The revenue can be modeled by the polynomial function

$R\left(t\right)=-0.037{t}^{4}+1.414{t}^{3}-19.777{t}^{2}+118.696t-205.332$

where $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}R\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ represents the revenue in millions of dollars and $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}t\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ represents the year, with $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}t=6\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ corresponding to 2006. Over which intervals is the revenue for the company increasing? Over which intervals is the revenue for the company decreasing? These questions, along with many others, can be answered by examining the graph of the polynomial function. We have already explored the local behavior of quadratics, a special case of polynomials. In this section we will explore the local behavior of polynomials in general.

## Recognizing characteristics of graphs of polynomial functions

Polynomial functions of degree 2 or more have graphs that do not have sharp corners; recall that these types of graphs are called smooth curves. Polynomial functions also display graphs that have no breaks. Curves with no breaks are called continuous. [link] shows a graph that represents a polynomial function    and a graph that represents a function that is not a polynomial.

## Recognizing polynomial functions

Which of the graphs in [link] represents a polynomial function?

The graphs of $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}f\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ and $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}h\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ are graphs of polynomial functions. They are smooth and continuous .

The graphs of $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}g\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ and $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}k\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ are graphs of functions that are not polynomials. The graph of function $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}g\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ has a sharp corner. The graph of function $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}k\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ is not continuous.

Do all polynomial functions have as their domain all real numbers?

Yes. Any real number is a valid input for a polynomial function.

## Using factoring to find zeros of polynomial functions

Recall that if $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}f\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ is a polynomial function, the values of $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}x\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ for which $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}f\left(x\right)=0\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ are called zeros    of $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}f.\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ If the equation of the polynomial function can be factored, we can set each factor equal to zero and solve for the zeros .

We can use this method to find $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}x\text{-}$ intercepts because at the $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}x\text{-}$ intercepts we find the input values when the output value is zero. For general polynomials, this can be a challenging prospect. While quadratics can be solved using the relatively simple quadratic formula, the corresponding formulas for cubic and fourth-degree polynomials are not simple enough to remember, and formulas do not exist for general higher-degree polynomials. Consequently, we will limit ourselves to three cases in this section:

1. The polynomial can be factored using known methods: greatest common factor and trinomial factoring.
2. The polynomial is given in factored form.
3. Technology is used to determine the intercepts.

Given a polynomial function $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}f,\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$ find the x -intercepts by factoring.

1. Set $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}f\left(x\right)=0.\text{\hspace{0.17em}}$
2. If the polynomial function is not given in factored form:
1. Factor out any common monomial factors.
2. Factor any factorable binomials or trinomials.
3. Set each factor equal to zero and solve to find the $\text{\hspace{0.17em}}x\text{-}$ intercepts.

#### Questions & Answers

what is f(x)=
I don't understand
Joe
Typically a function 'f' will take 'x' as input, and produce 'y' as output. As 'f(x)=y'. According to Google, "The range of a function is the complete set of all possible resulting values of the dependent variable (y, usually), after we have substituted the domain."
Thomas
Sorry, I don't know where the "Â"s came from. They shouldn't be there. Just ignore them. :-)
Thomas
Darius
Thanks.
Thomas
Â
Thomas
It is the Â that should not be there. It doesn't seem to show if encloses in quotation marks. "Â" or 'Â' ... Â
Thomas
Now it shows, go figure?
Thomas
what is this?
i do not understand anything
unknown
lol...it gets better
Darius
I've been struggling so much through all of this. my final is in four weeks 😭
Tiffany
this book is an excellent resource! have you guys ever looked at the online tutoring? there's one that is called "That Tutor Guy" and he goes over a lot of the concepts
Darius
thank you I have heard of him. I should check him out.
Tiffany
is there any question in particular?
Joe
I have always struggled with math. I get lost really easy, if you have any advice for that, it would help tremendously.
Tiffany
Sure, are you in high school or college?
Darius
Hi, apologies for the delayed response. I'm in college.
Tiffany
how to solve polynomial using a calculator
So a horizontal compression by factor of 1/2 is the same as a horizontal stretch by a factor of 2, right?
The center is at (3,4) a focus is at (3,-1), and the lenght of the major axis is 26
The center is at (3,4) a focus is at (3,-1) and the lenght of the major axis is 26 what will be the answer?
Rima
I done know
Joe
What kind of answer is that😑?
Rima
I had just woken up when i got this message
Joe
Can you please help me. Tomorrow is the deadline of my assignment then I don't know how to solve that
Rima
i have a question.
Abdul
how do you find the real and complex roots of a polynomial?
Abdul
@abdul with delta maybe which is b(square)-4ac=result then the 1st root -b-radical delta over 2a and the 2nd root -b+radical delta over 2a. I am not sure if this was your question but check it up
Nare
This is the actual question: Find all roots(real and complex) of the polynomial f(x)=6x^3 + x^2 - 4x + 1
Abdul
@Nare please let me know if you can solve it.
Abdul
I have a question
juweeriya
hello guys I'm new here? will you happy with me
mustapha
The average annual population increase of a pack of wolves is 25.
how do you find the period of a sine graph
Period =2π if there is a coefficient (b), just divide the coefficient by 2π to get the new period
Am
if not then how would I find it from a graph
Imani
by looking at the graph, find the distance between two consecutive maximum points (the highest points of the wave). so if the top of one wave is at point A (1,2) and the next top of the wave is at point B (6,2), then the period is 5, the difference of the x-coordinates.
Am
you could also do it with two consecutive minimum points or x-intercepts
Am
I will try that thank u
Imani
Case of Equilateral Hyperbola
ok
Zander
ok
Shella
f(x)=4x+2, find f(3)
Benetta
f(3)=4(3)+2 f(3)=14
lamoussa
14
Vedant
pre calc teacher: "Plug in Plug in...smell's good" f(x)=14
Devante
8x=40
Chris
Explain why log a x is not defined for a < 0
the sum of any two linear polynomial is what
divide simplify each answer 3/2÷5/4
divide simplify each answer 25/3÷5/12
Momo
how can are find the domain and range of a relations
the range is twice of the natural number which is the domain
Morolake
A cell phone company offers two plans for minutes. Plan A: $15 per month and$2 for every 300 texts. Plan B: $25 per month and$0.50 for every 100 texts. How many texts would you need to send per month for plan B to save you money?
6000
Robert
more than 6000
Robert
For Plan A to reach $27/month to surpass Plan B's$26.50 monthly payment, you'll need 3,000 texts which will cost an additional \$10.00. So, for the amount of texts you need to send would need to range between 1-100 texts for the 100th increment, times that by 3 for the additional amount of texts...
Gilbert
...for one text payment for 300 for Plan A. So, that means Plan A; in my opinion is for people with text messaging abilities that their fingers burn the monitor for the cell phone. While Plan B would be for loners that doesn't need their fingers to due the talking; but those texts mean more then...
Gilbert
can I see the picture
How would you find if a radical function is one to one?