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Geometrical Meaning of Zero of Polynomials

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Geometrical Meaning of Zero of Polynomials - Lesson Summary

Polynomial
A polynomial is an algebraic expression of the form p(x) = a n x n + a n-1 x n-1 +........+ a 1 x 1 + a 0, where a n, a n-1, a 1, a 0 are real numbers and a n≠ 0 is called a polynomial.

where a n x n , a n-1 x n-1 +........, a 1 x 1 , a 0, are the terms of a polynomial and a n , a n-1 ,........, a 1, a 0 are their coefficients.

Coefficient
The real number that precedes the variable is called the coefficient.

A polynomial involving one variable is called a polynomial in one variable.

Degree of the Polynomial
The exponent of the highest power of the variable of a polynomial is called the degree of the polynomial.

Based on its degree, a polynomial can be called as linear polynomial, quadratic polynomial, cubic  polynomial and so on.

Zero Polynomial
The polynomial with all the coefficients as zeros is called a zero polynomial.

Constant Polynomial
A polynomial with a single term of a real number is called a constant polynomial.

Linear Polynomial
A polynomial of degree one is called a first-degree or linear polynomial. The general form of a linear polynomial is ax + b, where a and b are real numbers and a ≠ 0.

Quadratic Polynomial
A polynomial of degree two is called a second degree or quadratic polynomial. The general form of a quadratic polynomial is ax 2 + bx + c, where a,b and c are real numbers and a ≠ 0.

Cubic Polynomial
A polynomial of degree three is called a third-degree or cubic polynomial. The general form of a cubic polynomial is ax 3 + bx 2 + cx + d, where a,b,c and d are real numbers and a ≠ 0.

BI-Quadratic Polynomial
A polynomial of degree four is called a fourth-degree or biquadratic polynomial. The general form of a quadratic polynomial is ax 4 + bx 3 + cx 2 + dx + e, where a,b,c,d and e are real numbers and a ≠ 0.

Value of a Polynomial
The value of a polynomial p(x) when x = k (k is a real number) is the value obtained by substituting x as k. It is denoted by p(k).

Zero of the Polynomial
The zero of the polynomial is defined as any real value of x, for which the value of the polynomial becomes zero.

A real number k is a zero of a polynomial p(x), if p(k) = 0.

Geometrical Meaning of the Zeroes of a Polynomial
The zero of the polynomial is the x-coordinate of the point, where the graph intersects the x-axis. If a polynomial p(x) intersects the x-axis at ( k, 0), then k is the zero of the polynomial.

The graph of a linear polynomial intersects the x-axis at a maximum of one point. Therefore, a linear polynomial has a maximum of one zero.


The graph of a quadratic polynomial intersects the x-axis at a maximum of two points. Therefore, a quadratic polynomial can have a maximum of two zeroes. In this case the shape of the graph is a parabola. The shape of the parabola of a quadratic polynomial ax2 + bx + c, a ≠ 0 depends on a.

If a > 0, then the parabola opens upwards.

If a < 0, then the parabola opens downwards.



Geometrically a quadratic polynomial can have either two distinct zeroes or two equal zeroes or no zero. This indicates that a quadratic polynomial has almost 2 zeroes.

The graph of a cubic polynomial intersects the x-axis at maximum of three points. A cubic polynomial has a maximum of three zeroes.

In general, an nth-degree polynomial intersects the x-axis at a maximum of n points. Therefore, an nth-degree polynomial has a maximum of n zeroes.

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