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# Factoring over the integers

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1. Factoring over the integers
Consider a binary homogeneous polynomial of degree two in two variables.

I'm concerned with factoring such polynomials quickly. For example, how could I factor over the integers quickly?
2. Re: Factoring over the integers
By "factor" I assume you mean write as a product of linear factors mx+ny?

In which case I suspect the quickest way would be to solve the quadratic:

Then you have:

So for you're example, we get:

6(x+2/3)(x+7/2) = (3x+2)(2x+7)
Last edited by SimonM; 01-06-2012 at 13:11.
3. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by SimonM)
By "factor" I assume you mean write as a product of linear factors mx+ny?

In which case I suspect the quickest way would be to solve the quadratic:

Then you have:

So for you're example, we get:

6(x+2/3)(x+7/2) = (3x+2)(2x+7)
Thanks, that's far better than my current method.
4. Re: Factoring over the integers
Also, how could I factor expressions of the form . As an example, how could I factor ?

is a starting point, I guess.

Edit: Just realised that for even n, factoring is trivial.
Last edited by Perpetuallity; 01-06-2012 at 14:44.
5. Re: Factoring over the integers
is this A-level?
6. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by bestofyou)
is this A-level?
Hard to say, really. Its probably a little harder than A-Level but easier than BMO.

But saying that, the study of quadratic forms can get quite technical when you introduce fields and such.

I'm just looking for shortcuts here, of course I could just expand loads and loads of terms, but I really don't want to.
Last edited by Perpetuallity; 01-06-2012 at 14:41.
7. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by Perpetuallity)
Also, how could I factor expressions of the form . As an example, how could I factor ?

is a starting point, I guess.

Edit: Just realised that its trivial for even n, factoring is trivial.
I'm not convinced.

For instance, can be factorised further.
8. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by nuodai)
I'm not convinced.

For instance, can be factorised further.
Perhaps trivial was the wrong word to use. Symmetrical was what I had in mind.

Edit: But saying that, has symmetry too, so what I wrote before was tosh. For clarity, I meant symmetry in the non linear factor.

Edit 2: Letting n=6, we get

Does there exist some theorem that generalises such results?
Last edited by Perpetuallity; 01-06-2012 at 15:03.
9. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by Perpetuallity)
Perhaps trivial was the wrong word to use. Symmetrical was what I had in mind.

Edit: But saying that, has symmetry too, so what I wrote before was tosh. For clarity, I meant symmetry in the non linear factor.

Edit 2: Letting n=6, we get

Does there exist some theorem that generalises such results?
Sort of. is the best you have when p is a prime. (If we had a factorization then we'd have a factorization when y = 1, and this shows that it cannot be done.)
10. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by Glutamic Acid)
Sort of. is the best you have when p is a prime. (If we had a factorization then we'd have a factorization when y = 1, and this shows that it cannot be done.)
And I suppose .
11. Re: Factoring over the integers
Cyclotomic polynomials are the way to go here:

so we can write:

12. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by SimonM)
Cyclotomic polynomials are the way to go here:

so we can write:

I'm quite new to number theory and am quite excited by seeing the Euler Totient function entwined in that product, although I've never really studied cyclotomic polynomials in any real depth! Thanks.
Last edited by Perpetuallity; 01-06-2012 at 16:12.
13. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by Perpetuallity)
I'm quite new to number theory and am quite excited by seeing the Euler Totient function entwined in that product, although I've never really studied cyclotomic polynomials! Thanks.
They're quite interesting and easily accessible to an A-level student. (Although it's possible to treat them in complicated unaccessible ways).

The reason it appears is because

The reason is because there are primitive dth roots of unity.

The reason there are dth roots of unity is because if is a primitive dth root of unit so is for and these are the only other possibilities.
14. Re: Factoring over the integers
(Original post by SimonM)
They're quite interesting and easily accessible to an A-level student. (Although it's possible to treat them in complicated unaccessible ways).

The reason it appears is because

The reason is because there are primitive dth roots of unity.

The reason there are dth roots of unity is because if is a primitive dth root of unit so is for and these are the only other possibilities.
Ah I see, makes much much more sense now.

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Last updated: June 1, 2012
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