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Key equations

general form of a polynomial function f ( x ) = a n x n + ... + a 2 x 2 + a 1 x + a 0

Key concepts

  • A power function is a variable base raised to a number power. See [link] .
  • The behavior of a graph as the input decreases beyond bound and increases beyond bound is called the end behavior.
  • The end behavior depends on whether the power is even or odd. See [link] and [link] .
  • A polynomial function is the sum of terms, each of which consists of a transformed power function with positive whole number power. See [link] .
  • The degree of a polynomial function is the highest power of the variable that occurs in a polynomial. The term containing the highest power of the variable is called the leading term. The coefficient of the leading term is called the leading coefficient. See [link] .
  • The end behavior of a polynomial function is the same as the end behavior of the power function represented by the leading term of the function. See [link] and [link] .
  • A polynomial of degree n will have at most n x- intercepts and at most n 1 turning points. See [link] , [link] , [link] , [link] , and [link] .

Section exercises

Verbal

Explain the difference between the coefficient of a power function and its degree.

The coefficient of the power function is the real number that is multiplied by the variable raised to a power. The degree is the highest power appearing in the function.

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If a polynomial function is in factored form, what would be a good first step in order to determine the degree of the function?

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In general, explain the end behavior of a power function with odd degree if the leading coefficient is positive.

As x decreases without bound, so does f ( x ) . As x increases without bound, so does f ( x ) .

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What is the relationship between the degree of a polynomial function and the maximum number of turning points in its graph?

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What can we conclude if, in general, the graph of a polynomial function exhibits the following end behavior? As x , f ( x ) and as x , f ( x ) .

The polynomial function is of even degree and leading coefficient is negative.

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Algebraic

For the following exercises, identify the function as a power function, a polynomial function, or neither.

f ( x ) = ( x 2 ) 3

Power function

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f ( x ) = x 2 x 2 1

Neither

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f ( x ) = 2 x ( x + 2 ) ( x 1 ) 2

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f ( x ) = 3 x + 1

Neither

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For the following exercises, find the degree and leading coefficient for the given polynomial.

7 2 x 2

Degree = 2, Coefficient = –2

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2 x 2 3 x 5 + x 6  

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x ( 4 x 2 ) ( 2 x + 1 )

Degree =4, Coefficient = –2

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For the following exercises, determine the end behavior of the functions.

f ( x ) = x 4

As x , f ( x ) , as x , f ( x )

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f ( x ) = x 4

As x , f ( x ) , as x , f ( x )

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f ( x ) = 2 x 4 3 x 2 + x 1  

As x , f ( x ) , as x , f ( x )

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f ( x ) = 3 x 2 + x 2

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f ( x ) = x 2 ( 2 x 3 x + 1 )

As x , f ( x ) , as x , f ( x )

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For the following exercises, find the intercepts of the functions.

f ( t ) = 2 ( t 1 ) ( t + 2 ) ( t 3 )

y -intercept is ( 0 , 12 ) , t -intercepts are ( 1 , 0 ) ; ( 2 , 0 ) ; and  ( 3 , 0 ) .

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g ( n ) = −2 ( 3 n 1 ) ( 2 n + 1 )

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f ( x ) = x 4 16

y -intercept is ( 0 , 16 ) . x -intercepts are ( 2 , 0 ) and ( 2 , 0 ) .

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f ( x ) = x ( x 2 2 x 8 )

y -intercept is ( 0 , 0 ) . x -intercepts are ( 0 , 0 ) , ( 4 , 0 ) , and ( 2 ,   0 ) .

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f ( x ) = ( x + 3 ) ( 4 x 2 1 )

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Graphical

For the following exercises, determine the least possible degree of the polynomial function shown.

Questions & Answers

A laser rangefinder is locked on a comet approaching Earth. The distance g(x), in kilometers, of the comet after x days, for x in the interval 0 to 30 days, is given by g(x)=250,000csc(π30x). Graph g(x) on the interval [0, 35]. Evaluate g(5)  and interpret the information. What is the minimum distance between the comet and Earth? When does this occur? To which constant in the equation does this correspond? Find and discuss the meaning of any vertical asymptotes.
Kaitlyn Reply
The sequence is {1,-1,1-1.....} has
amit Reply
circular region of radious
Kainat Reply
how can we solve this problem
Joel Reply
Sin(A+B) = sinBcosA+cosBsinA
Eseka Reply
Prove it
Eseka
Please prove it
Eseka
hi
Joel
June needs 45 gallons of punch. 2 different coolers. Bigger cooler is 5 times as large as smaller cooler. How many gallons in each cooler?
Arleathia Reply
7.5 and 37.5
Nando
find the sum of 28th term of the AP 3+10+17+---------
Prince Reply
I think you should say "28 terms" instead of "28th term"
Vedant
the 28th term is 175
Nando
192
Kenneth
if sequence sn is a such that sn>0 for all n and lim sn=0than prove that lim (s1 s2............ sn) ke hole power n =n
SANDESH Reply
write down the polynomial function with root 1/3,2,-3 with solution
Gift Reply
if A and B are subspaces of V prove that (A+B)/B=A/(A-B)
Pream Reply
write down the value of each of the following in surd form a)cos(-65°) b)sin(-180°)c)tan(225°)d)tan(135°)
Oroke Reply
Prove that (sinA/1-cosA - 1-cosA/sinA) (cosA/1-sinA - 1-sinA/cosA) = 4
kiruba Reply
what is the answer to dividing negative index
Morosi Reply
In a triangle ABC prove that. (b+c)cosA+(c+a)cosB+(a+b)cisC=a+b+c.
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Source:  OpenStax, Algebra and trigonometry. OpenStax CNX. Nov 14, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11758/1.6
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