# 5.1 FACTORING OUT COMMON FACTORS

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1 C H A P T E R 5 Factoring he sport of skydiving was born in the 1930s soon after the military began using parachutes as a means of deploying troops. T Today, skydiving is a popular sport around the world. With as little as 8 hours of ground instruction, first-time jumpers can be ready to make a solo jump. Without the assistance of oxygen, sky divers can jump from as high as 14,000 feet and reach speeds of more than 100 miles per hour as they fall toward the earth. Jumpers usually open their parachutes between 2000 and 3000 feet and then gradually glide down to their landing area. If the jump and the parachute are handled correctly, the landing can be as gentle as jumping off two steps. Making a jump and floating to earth are only part of the sport of skydiving. For example, in an activity called relative work skydiving, a team of as many as 920 free-falling sky divers join together to make geometrically shaped formations. In a related exercise called canopy relative work, the team members form geometric patterns after their parachutes or canopies have opened. This kind of skydiving takes skill and practice, and teams are not always successful in their attempts. The amount of time a sky diver has for a free fall depends on the height of the jump and how much the sky diver uses the air to slow the fall. In Exercises 67 and 68 of Section 5.6 we find the amount of time that it takes a sky diver to fall from a given height.

2 260 (5-2) Chapter 5 Factoring 5.1 FACTORING OUT COMMON FACTORS In this section In Chapter 4 you learned how to multiply a monomial and a polynomial. In this section you will learn how to reverse that multiplication by finding the greatest common factor for the terms of a polynomial and then factoring the polynomial. Prime Factorization of Integers Greatest Common Factor Finding the Greatest Common Factor for Monomials Factoring Out the Greatest Common Factor Factoring Out the Opposite of the GCF Prime Factorization of Integers To factor an expression means to write the expression as a product. For example, if we start with 12 and write , we have factored 12. Both 4 and 3 are factors or divisors of 12. There are other factorizations of 12: The one that is most useful to us is , because it expresses 12 as a product of prime numbers. Prime Number A positive integer larger than 1 that has no integral factors other than itself and 1 is called a prime number. The numbers 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, and 23 are the first nine prime numbers. A positive integer larger than 1 that is not a prime is a composite number. The numbers 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, and 12 are the first six composite numbers. Every composite number is a product of prime numbers. The prime factorization for 12 is E X A M P L E 1 helpful hint The prime factorization of 36 can be found also with a factoring tree: So Prime factorization Find the prime factorization for 36. We start by writing 36 as a product of two integers: Write 36 as Replace 18 by Replace 9 by Use exponential notation. The prime factorization of 36 is For larger numbers it is helpful to use the method shown in the next example. E X A M P L E 2 Factoring a large number Find the prime factorization for 420. Start by dividing 420 by the smallest prime number that will divide into it evenly (without remainder). The smallest prime divisor of 420 is

3 5.1 Factoring Out Common Factors (5-3) 261 helpful hint The fact that every composite number has a unique prime factorization is known as the fundamental theorem of arithmetic. Now find the smallest prime that will divide evenly into the quotient, 210. The smallest prime divisor of 210 is 2. Continue this procedure, as follows, until the quotient is a prime number: Start here The prime factorization of 420 is , or Note that it is really not necessary to divide by the smallest prime divisor at each step. We obtain the same factorization if we divide by any prime divisor at each step. Greatest Common Factor The largest integer that is a factor of two or more integers is called the greatest common factor (GCF) of the integers. For example, 1, 2, 3, and 6 are common factors of 18 and 24. Because 6 is the largest, 6 is the GCF of 18 and 24. We can use prime factorizations to find the GCF. For example, to find the GCF of 8 and 12, we first factor 8 and 12: We see that the factor 2 appears twice in both 8 and 12. So 2 2, or 4, is the GCF of 8 and 12. Notice that 2 is a factor in both 2 3 and and that 2 2 is the smallest power of 2 in these factorizations. In general, we can use the following strategy to find the GCF. Strategy for Finding the GCF for Positive Integers 1. Find the prime factorization of each integer. 2. Determine which primes appear in all of the factorizations and the smallest exponent that appears on each of the common prime factors. 3. The GCF is the product of the common prime factors using the exponents from part (2). If two integers have no common prime factors, then their greatest common factor is 1, because 1 is a factor of every integer. For example, 6 and 35 have have no common prime factors (6 2 3 and ). So the GCF for 6 and 35 is 1. E X A M P L E 3 Greatest common factor Find the GCF for each group of numbers. a) 150, 225 b) 216, 360, 504 c) 55, 168 a) First find the prime factorization for each number:

4 262 (5-4) Chapter 5 Factoring Because 2 is not a factor of 225, it is not a common factor of 150 and 225. Only 3 and 5 appear in both factorizations. Looking at both and , we see that the smallest power of 5 is 2 and the smallest power of 3 is 1. So the GCF of 150 and 225 is 3 5 2, or 75. b) First find the prime factorization for each number: The only common prime factors are 2 and 3. The smallest power of 2 in the factorizations is 3, and the smallest power of 3 is 2. So the GCF is , or 72. c) First find the prime factorization for each number: Because there are no common factors other than 1, the GCF is 1. Finding the Greatest Common Factor for Monomials To find the GCF for a group of monomials, we use the same procedure as that used for integers. Strategy for Finding the GCF for Monomials 1. Find the GCF for the coefficients of the monomials. 2. Form the product of the GCF of the coefficients and each variable that is common to all of the monomials, where the exponent on each variable is the smallest power of that variable in any of the monomials. E X A M P L E 4 study tip Success in school depends on effective time management, and effective time management is all about goals. Write down your long-term, shortterm, and daily goals. Assess them, develop methods for meeting them, and reward yourself when you do. Greatest common factor of monomials Find the greatest common factor for each group of monomials. a) 15x 2, 9x 3 b) 12x 2 y 2, 30x 2 yz,42x 3 y a) The GCF for 15 and 9 is 3, and the smallest power of x is 2. So the GCF for the monomials is 3x 2. If we write these monomials as 15x x x and 9x x x x, we can see that 3x 2 is the GCF. b) The GCF for 12, 30, and 42 is 6. For the common variables x and y, 2 is the smallest power of x and 1 is the smallest power of y. So the GCF for the monomials is 6x 2 y. Factoring Out the Greatest Common Factor In Chapter 4 we used the distributive property to multiply monomials and polynomials. For example, 6(5x 3) 30x 18. If we start with 30x 18 and write 30x 18 6(5x 3), we have factored 30x 18. Because multiplication is the last operation to be performed in 6(5x 3), the expression 6(5x 3) is a product. Because 6 is the GCF of 30 and 18, we have factored out the GCF.

5 5.1 Factoring Out Common Factors (5-5) 263 E X A M P L E 5 study tip The keys to college success are motivation and time management. Anyone who tells you that they are making great grades without studying is probably not telling the truth. Success in college takes effort. Factoring out the greatest common factor Factor the following polynomials by factoring out the GCF. a) 25a 2 40a b) 6x 4 12x 3 3x 2 c) x 2 y 5 x 6 y 3 d) (a b)w (a b)6 a) The GCF of the coefficients 25 and 40 is 5. Because the smallest power of the common factor a is 1, we can factor 5a out of each term: 25a 2 40a 5a 5a 5a 8 5a(5a 8) b) The GCF of 6, 12, and 3 is 3. We can factor x 2 out of each term, since the smallest power of x in the three terms is 2. So factor 3x 2 out of each term as follows: 6x 4 12x 3 3x 2 3x 2 2x 2 3x 2 4x 3x 2 1 3x 2 (2x 2 4x 1) Check by multiplying: 3x 2 (2x 2 4x 1) 6x 4 12x 3 3x 2. c) The GCF of the numerical coefficients is 1. Both x and y are common to each term. Using the lowest powers of x and y, we get x 2 y 5 x 6 y 3 x 2 y 3 y 2 x 2 y 3 x 4 x 2 y 3 (y 2 x 4 ). Check by multiplying. d) Even though this expression looks different from the rest, we can factor it in the same way. The binomial a b is a common factor, and we can factor it out just as we factor out a monomial: (a b)w (a b)6 (a b)(w 6) CAUTION If the GCF is one of the terms of the polynomial, then you must remember to leave a 1 in place of that term when the GCF is factored out. For example, ab b a b 1 b b(a 1). You should always check your answer by multiplying the factors. Factoring Out the Opposite of the GCF Because the greatest common factor for 4x 2xy is 2x, we write 4x 2xy 2x( 2 y). We could factor out 2x, the opposite of the greatest common factor: 4x 2xy 2x(2 y). It will be necessary to factor out the opposite of the greatest common factor when you learn factoring by grouping in Section 5.2. Remember that you can check all factoring by multiplying the factors to see whether you get the original polynomial. E X A M P L E 6 Factoring out the opposite of the GCF Factor each polynomial twice. First factor out the greatest common factor, and then factor out the opposite of the GCF. a) 3x 3y b) a b c) x 3 2x 2 8x

6 264 (5-6) Chapter 5 Factoring a) 3x 3y 3(x y) Factor out 3. 3( x y) Factor out 3. Note that the signs of the terms in parentheses change when 3 is factored out. Check the answers by multiplying. b) a b 1(a b) Factor out 1, the GCF of a and b. 1( a b) Factor out 1. We can also write a b 1(b a). c) x 3 2x 2 8x x( x 2 2x 8) Factor out x. x(x 2 2x 8) Factor out x. CAUTION Be sure to change the sign of each term in parentheses when you factor out the opposite of the greatest common factor. WARM-UPS True or false? Explain your answer. 1. There are only nine prime numbers. False 2. The prime factorization of 32 is False 3. The integer 51 is a prime number. False 4. The GCF of the integers 12 and 16 is 4. True 5. The GCF of the integers 10 and 21 is 1. True 6. The GCF of the polynomial x 5 y 3 x 4 y 7 is x 4 y 3. True 7. For the polynomial 2x 2 y 6xy 2 we can factor out either 2xy or 2xy. True 8. The greatest common factor of the polynomial 8a 3 b 12a 2 b is 4ab. False 9. x 7 7 x for any real number x. False 10. 3x 2 6x 3x(x 2) for any real number x. True 5. 1 EXERCISES Reading and Writing After reading this section, write out the answers to these questions. Use complete sentences. 1. What does it mean to factor an expression? To factor means to write as a product. 2. What is a prime number? A prime number is an integer greater than 1 that has no factors besides itself and How do you find the prime factorization of a number? You can find the prime factorization by dividing by prime factors until the result is prime. 4. What is the greatest common factor for two numbers? The GCF for two numbers is the largest number that is a factor of both. 5. What is the greatest common factor for two monomials? The GCF for two monomials consists of the GCF of their coefficients and every variable that they have in common raised to the lowest power that appears on the variable. 6. How can you check if you have factored an expression correctly? You can check all factoring by multiplying the factors. Find the prime factorization of each integer. See Examples 1 and

7 5.1 Factoring Out Common Factors (5-7) Find the greatest common factor (GCF) for each group of integers. See Example , , , , , 48, , 35, , 84, , 72, , 68, , 200, Find the greatest common factor (GCF) for each group of monomials. See Example x, 8x 3 2x x 2, 4x 3 4x x 3,4x 2, 6x 2x 30. 3y 5, 9y 4, 15y 3 3y x 2 y, 2xy 2 xy 32. 7a 2 x 3, 5a 3 x a 2 x a 2 bc, 60ab 2 12ab x 2 yz 3, 75x 3 yz 6 15x 2 yz u 3 v 2, 25s 2 t m 2 n 5, 56a 4 b a 3 b,30a 2 b 2,54ab x 2 z, 40xz 2, 72z 3 6ab 8z Complete the factoring of each monomial x 9( ) 9(3x) y 3y( ) 3y(17) t 2 8t( ) 8t(3t) u 2 3u( ) 3u(6u) y 5 4y 2 ( ) 4y 2 (9y 3 ) z 4 3z 2 ( ) 3z 2 (14z 2 ) 45. u 4 v 3 uv( ) uv(u 3 v 2 ) 46. x 5 y 3 x 2 y( ) x 2 y(x 3 y 2 ) m 4 n 3 2m 4 ( ) 2m 4 ( 7n 3 ) 48. 8y 3 z 4 4z 3 ( ) 4z 3 ( 2y 3 z) x 4 y 3 z 2 3x 3 yz( ) 3x 3 yz(11xy 2 z) a 3 b 4 c 5 12ab 3 c 3 ( ) 12ab 3 c 3 (8a 2 bc 2 ) Factor out the GCF in each expression. See Example x 3 6x x(x 2 6) y 4 30y 2 10y 2 (y 2 3) 53. 5ax 5ay 5a(x y) 54. 6wz 15wa 3w(2z 5a) 55. h 5 h 3 h 3 (h 2 1) 56. y 6 y 5 y 5 (y 1) 57. 2k 7 m 4 4k 3 m 6 2k 3 m 4 ( k 4 2m 2 ) 58. 6h 5 t 2 3h 3 t 6 3h 3 t 2 ( 2h 2 t 4 ) 59. 2x 3 6x 2 8x 2x(x 2 3x 4) 60. 6x 3 18x 2 24x 6x(x 2 3x 4) x 4 t 30x 3 t 24x 2 t 2 6x 2 t(2x 2 5x 4t) x 2 y 2 9xy 2 6x 2 y 3xy(5xy 3y 2x) 63. (x 3)a (x 3)b (x 3)(a b) 64. (y 4)3 (y 4)z (y 4)(3 z) 65. a(y 1) 2 b(y 1) 2 (y 1) 2 (a b) 66. w(w 2) 2 8(w 2) 2 (w 2) 2 (w 8) a 3 b 5 27a 2 b 4 18a 2 b 9 9a 2 b 4 (4ab 3 2b 5 ) x 3 y 5 40x 2 y 6 8x 2 y 3 8x 2 y 3 (7xy 2 5y 3 1) First factor out the GCF, and then factor out the opposite of the GCF. See Example x 8y 8(x y), 8( x y) 70. 2a 6b 2(a 3b), 2( a 3b) 71. 4x 8x 2 4x( 1 2x), 4x(1 2x) 72. 5x 2 10x 5x( x 2), 5x(x 2) 73. x 5 1(x 5), 1( x 5) 74. a 6 1(a 6), 1( a 6) a 1(4 7a), 1( 4 7a) b 1(7 5b), 1( 7 5b) a 3 16a 2 8a 2 ( 3a 2), 8a 2 (3a 2) b 4 75b 3 15b 3 ( 2b 5), 15b 3 (2b 5) x 2 18x 6x( 2x 3), 6x(2x 3) b 2 8b 4b( 5b 2), 4b(5b 2) 81. 2x 3 6x 2 14x 2x( x 2 3x 7), 2x(x 2 3x 7) 82. 8x 4 6x 3 2x 2 2x 2 ( 4x 2 3x 1), 2x 2 (4x 2 3x 1) 83. 4a 3 b 6a 2 b 2 4ab 3 2ab(2a 2 3ab 2b 2 ), 2ab( 2a 2 3ab 2b 2 ) u 5 v 6 18u 2 v 3 15u 4 v 5 3u 2 v 3 (4u 3 v 3 6 5u 2 v 2 ), 3u 2 v 3 ( 4u 3 v 3 6 5u 2 v 2 ) Solve each problem by factoring. 85. Uniform motion. Helen traveled a distance of 20x 40 miles at 20 miles per hour on the Yellowhead Highway. Find a binomial that represents the time that she traveled. x 2 hours 86. Area of a painting. A rectangular painting with a width of x centimeters has an area of x 2 50x square centimeters. Find a binomial that represents the length. x 50 cm? x cm Area = x x cm 2 FIGURE FOR EXERCISE 86

8 266 (5-8) Chapter 5 Factoring 87. Tomato soup. The amount of metal S (in square inches) that it takes to make a can for tomato soup is a function of the radius r and height h: S 2 r 2 2 rh a) Rewrite this formula by factoring out the greatest common factor on the right-hand side. S 2 r(r h) Surface area (in. 2 ) Radius (inches) FIGURE FOR EXERCISE 87 b) If h 5 in., then S is a function of r. Write a formula for that function. S 2 r 2 10 r c) The accompanying graph shows S for r between 1 in. and 3 in. (with h 5 in.). Which of these r-values gives the maximum surface area? 3 in. 88. Amount of an investment. The amount of an investment of P dollars for t years at simple interest rate r is given by A P Prt. a) Rewrite this formula by factoring out the greatest common factor on the right-hand side. A P(1 rt) b) Find A if \$8300 is invested for 3 years at a simple interest rate of 15%. \$12,035 GETTING MORE INVOLVED 89. Discussion. Is the greatest common factor of 6x 2 3x positive or negative? Explain. The GCF is an algebraic expression. 90. Writing. Explain in your own words why you use the smallest power of each common prime factor when finding the GCF of two or more integers. In this section Factoring a Difference of Two Squares Factoring a Perfect Square Trinomial Factoring Completely Factoring by Grouping 5.2 FACTORING THE SPECIAL PRODUCTS AND FACTORING BY GROUPING In Section 4.4 you learned how to find the special products: the square of a sum, the square of a difference, and the product of a sum and a difference. In this section you will learn how to reverse those operations. Factoring a Difference of Two Squares In Section 4.4 you learned that the product of a sum and a difference is a difference of two squares: (a b)(a b) a 2 ab ab b 2 a 2 b 2 So a difference of two squares can be factored as a product of a sum and a difference, using the following rule. Factoring a Difference of Two Squares For any real numbers a and b, a 2 b 2 (a b)(a b). Note that the square of an integer is a perfect square. For example, 64 is a perfect square because The square of a monomial in which the coefficient is an integer is also called a perfect square or simply a square. For example, 9m 2 is a perfect square because 9m 2 (3m) 2. E X A M P L E 1 Factoring a difference of two squares Factor each polynomial. a) y 2 81 b) 9m 2 16 c) 4x 2 9y 2

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### Factoring Trinomials of the Form x 2 bx c 4.2 Factoring Trinomials of the Form x 2 bx c 4.2 OBJECTIVES 1. Factor a trinomial of the form x 2 bx c 2. Factor a trinomial containing a common factor NOTE The process used to factor here is frequently

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### Factoring - Grouping 6.2 Factoring - Grouping Objective: Factor polynomials with four terms using grouping. The first thing we will always do when factoring is try to factor out a GCF. This GCF is often a monomial like in

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### 1.3 Algebraic Expressions 1.3 Algebraic Expressions A polynomial is an expression of the form: a n x n + a n 1 x n 1 +... + a 2 x 2 + a 1 x + a 0 The numbers a 1, a 2,..., a n are called coefficients. Each of the separate parts,

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### AIP Factoring Practice/Help The following pages include many problems to practice factoring skills. There are also several activities with examples to help you with factoring if you feel like you are not proficient with it. There

### Factoring Polynomials Factoring a Polynomial Expression Factoring a polynomial is expressing the polynomial as a product of two or more factors. Simply stated, it is somewhat the reverse process of multiplying. To factor polynomials, 8. Radicals - Multiply and Divide Radicals Objective: Multiply and divide radicals using the product and quotient rules of radicals. Multiplying radicals is very simple if the index on all the radicals

### SUNY ECC. ACCUPLACER Preparation Workshop. Algebra Skills SUNY ECC ACCUPLACER Preparation Workshop Algebra Skills Gail A. Butler Ph.D. Evaluating Algebraic Epressions Substitute the value (#) in place of the letter (variable). Follow order of operations!!! E) Factoring the trinomial ax 2 + bx + c when a = 1 A trinomial in the form x 2 + bx + c can be factored to equal (x + m)(x + n) when the product of m x n equals c and the sum of m + n equals b. (Note: the Factoring Polynomials 8A Factoring Methods 8-1 Factors and Greatest Common Factors Lab Model Factorization by GCF 8-2 Factoring by GCF Lab Model Factorization of x 2 + bx + c 8-3 Factoring x 2 + bx + c