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In this section, you will:
  • Decompose   P( x )/Q( x ) ,  where  Q( x )  has only nonrepeated linear factors.
  • Decompose   P( x )/Q( x ) ,  where  Q( x )  has repeated linear factors.
  • Decompose   P( x )/Q( x ) ,  where  Q( x )  has a nonrepeated irreducible quadratic factor.
  • Decompose   P( x )/Q( x ) ,  where  Q( x )  has a repeated irreducible quadratic factor.

Earlier in this chapter, we studied systems of two equations in two variables, systems of three equations in three variables, and nonlinear systems. Here we introduce another way that systems of equations can be utilized—the decomposition of rational expressions.

Fractions can be complicated; adding a variable in the denominator makes them even more so. The methods studied in this section will help simplify the concept of a rational expression.

Decomposing P ( x ) Q ( x ) Where Q(x) Has only nonrepeated linear factors

Recall the algebra regarding adding and subtracting rational expressions. These operations depend on finding a common denominator so that we can write the sum or difference as a single, simplified rational expression. In this section, we will look at partial fraction decomposition    , which is the undoing of the procedure to add or subtract rational expressions. In other words, it is a return from the single simplified rational expression to the original expressions, called the partial fractions    .

For example, suppose we add the following fractions:

2 x −3 + −1 x + 2

We would first need to find a common denominator, ( x + 2 ) ( x −3 ) .

Next, we would write each expression with this common denominator and find the sum of the terms.

2 x 3 ( x + 2 x + 2 ) + 1 x + 2 ( x 3 x 3 ) =                        2 x + 4 x + 3 ( x + 2 ) ( x 3 ) = x + 7 x 2 x 6

Partial fraction decomposition is the reverse of this procedure. We would start with the solution and rewrite (decompose) it as the sum of two fractions.

x + 7 x 2 x −6 Simplified sum = 2 x −3 + −1 x + 2 Partial fraction decomposition

We will investigate rational expressions with linear factors and quadratic factors in the denominator where the degree of the numerator is less than the degree of the denominator. Regardless of the type of expression we are decomposing, the first and most important thing to do is factor the denominator.

When the denominator of the simplified expression contains distinct linear factors, it is likely that each of the original rational expressions, which were added or subtracted, had one of the linear factors as the denominator. In other words, using the example above, the factors of x 2 x −6 are ( x −3 ) ( x + 2 ) , the denominators of the decomposed rational expression. So we will rewrite the simplified form as the sum of individual fractions and use a variable for each numerator. Then, we will solve for each numerator using one of several methods available for partial fraction decomposition.

Partial fraction decomposition of P ( x ) Q ( x ) : Q ( x ) Has nonrepeated linear factors

The partial fraction decomposition    of P ( x ) Q ( x ) when Q ( x ) has nonrepeated linear factors and the degree of P ( x ) is less than the degree of Q ( x ) is

P ( x ) Q ( x ) = A 1 ( a 1 x + b 1 ) + A 2 ( a 2 x + b 2 ) + A 3 ( a 3 x + b 3 ) + + A n ( a n x + b n ) .

Questions & Answers

what is set?
Kelvin Reply
a colony of bacteria is growing exponentially doubling in size every 100 minutes. how much minutes will it take for the colony of bacteria to triple in size
Divya Reply
I got 300 minutes. is it right?
no. should be about 150 minutes.
It should be 158.5 minutes.
ok, thanks
100•3=300 300=50•2^x 6=2^x x=log_2(6) =2.5849625 so, 300=50•2^2.5849625 and, so, the # of bacteria will double every (100•2.5849625) = 258.49625 minutes
what is the importance knowing the graph of circular functions?
Arabella Reply
can get some help basic precalculus
ismail Reply
What do you need help with?
how to convert general to standard form with not perfect trinomial
Camalia Reply
can get some help inverse function
Rectangle coordinate
Asma Reply
how to find for x
Jhon Reply
it depends on the equation
yeah, it does. why do we attempt to gain all of them one side or the other?
whats a domain
mike Reply
The domain of a function is the set of all input on which the function is defined. For example all real numbers are the Domain of any Polynomial function.
Spiro; thanks for putting it out there like that, 😁
foci (–7,–17) and (–7,17), the absolute value of the differenceof the distances of any point from the foci is 24.
Churlene Reply
difference between calculus and pre calculus?
Asma Reply
give me an example of a problem so that I can practice answering
Jenefa Reply
dont forget the cube in each variable ;)
of she solves that, well ... then she has a lot of computational force under her command ....
what is a function?
CJ Reply
I want to learn about the law of exponent
Quera Reply
explain this
Hinderson Reply
what is functions?
Angel Reply
A mathematical relation such that every input has only one out.
yes..it is a relationo of orders pairs of sets one or more input that leads to a exactly one output.
Is a rule that assigns to each element X in a set A exactly one element, called F(x), in a set B.
Practice Key Terms 2

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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