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# Linear Algebra - Finding hcf and factorizing - University Level - Rep! watch

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1. Hey,

My linear algebra brain doesn't seem to get how to do the following questions (attached) - I don't really get how to divide polynomials et al, and don't understand the method I'd need to use to solve this. Can anyone show, and explain to me the methodology so that I understand for the future?

Thanks in advance. Everyone who helps me understand/provides a method gets rep from me (in the coming few days/weeks), which is probably worth a fair bit.

AI

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2. I'll tackle this with a general strategy in a latex friendly manner:

I trust you know the Euclidean algorithm for finding the hcf. If not then look it up.

bi) Want to find q and r such that f = qg + r and r=0 or deg(r) < deg(g)
That's not so hard as f and g have the same degree!

**** ****

The next division of by is harder.

Firstly get rid of the x^3 by subtracting a suitable multiple of from . We'll build the quotient up on the left and the remainder on the right. We have to keep going until the remainder is zero or has degree less than that of . That is, until it is constant.

The remainder on the right still has an x^2 term so take a suitable multiple of off both sides:

Still too big so do the same again.

So

**** ****

Next division is of by which will leave remainder zero so the highest common factor is (any associate of) the last non zero remainder. ie, is 1.

Now use the two starred equations to find polynomials a and b such that af + bg = 1.

For c i and ii you play exactly the same game but when you want to divide by 2 say, you multiply by the multiplicative inverse of 2 in . Which is 2.

For c iii. The only possibilities for factoring a cubic are 3 linear factors, a linear and a quadratic or irreducible. So just shove 0,1,2 into them (remembering to calculate in ). If it's never zero then it's irreducible. Otherwise you find a root and can factorise into a quadratic and (x-a) where a is the root. You can just guess the quadratic. The x^2 coefficient and constant should be obvious and you only have 3 choices for the x coefficient.
3. b)i) One way to do this is to use algebraic long division and apply the euclidean algorithm. If you need to refresh either of these a quick google or wikipedia should be helpful.

b)ii) is just a case of reversing the steps you say in i). You've probably done the exact same process for integers.

c)i) 2 is a root of both the polynomials and hence x-2=x+1 is a factor by the remainder theorem. We need to check this is the hcf though! One way to do this is just by applying polynomial long division in the field of order 3.

First divide x^3+1 into x^3+2x. We see x^3+2x=(x^3+1)+(2x-1) just as in the case over the rationals.

Next we divide (2x-1) into (x^3+1). Using the algorithm for algebraic long division 2x would go into x^3 (1/2)x^2 times. This isn't what we want though since (1/2) isn't in the field of order 3. Instead note that (2x)(2x^2)=x^3 since 4=1 in our field. Continuing in this way we see that x^3+1=2x^2(2x-1)+(2x^2+1) and so we only need to find hcf(2x-1,2x^2+1).

Finally we see 2x^2+1=x(2x-1)+(x+1) and so it remains to find hcf(2x-1,x+1). Clearly 2x-1=2x+2=2(x+1). Thus x+1 is the hcf.

This process might have been a little hard to follow on screen but refresh long division and hopefully it will become clear, if not post back.

c)ii) Just reverse the above process, as in b)ii).

c)iii) Luckily both of these polynomials have roots. Use the remainder theorem to find a factor of degree 1 and divide out this factor using long division. Repeat this process.
4. Thanks for that help. I'll scan in my method and answers in a bit so that you can see if I've understood all this correctly.
5. Well, here's what I've done with your help and advice, but I'm still not quite sure of why we've done a couple of things, which I've pointed out in my answers - would anyone care to explain/elaborate? Also, are these solutions correct?

b)i) + ii)

c)i) + ii)

c)iii)
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6. In the ring of polynomials the highest common factor is not unique. If h is a highest common factors then so is kh for any rational number k.

In general, if R is a ring and h a highest common factor of f and g then the set of highest common factors of f and g is the set of associates of h (the set of hu, u a unit of R).

In cii) Your second division isn't correct. The remainder has higher degree than the thing you're dividing by.

In ciii) In your factorisation of g you haven't checked if the quadratic is irreducible.
7. For c)iii), would the factorisation of g be first written as (x - 2)(x2 + 2x + 1), because when multiplied out -3x is the same as 0 in F3.

And then that would become (x - 2)(x + 1)2, right?

As for c)ii), I've been trying for ages to correct the mistake that you say is there, but I don't know quite what to do - would you care to elaborate please?
8. Apologies. I meant c part i.

For the next line you want q and r such that:

With r=0 or the degree of r less than the degree of (2x-1). Which is 1.

c part iii is now correct. Though you can also write that as (x+1)^3.
9. Ah, part c)i).

Well, would I write it as (x3 + 1) = (2x - 1)(2x2 + x + 2) instead? I think that works...

Does this mean that my answers for the values of a and b in c)ii) are wrong then?
10. Yeah. And then that shows that the hcf is the last non zero remainder which was 2x-1.

The first division makes it obvious what a and b are... Very obvious!
11. Is it really as simple as a = 1 and b = -1 for c)ii) then?

Edit: You're very patient about all my idiotic mistakes.

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