# Winter Camp 2011 Polynomials Alexander Remorov. Polynomials. Alexander Remorov

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1 Polynomials Alexander Remorov Warm-up Problem 1: Let f(x) be a quadratic polynomial. Prove that there exist quadratic polynomials g(x) and h(x) such that f(x)f(x + 1) = g(h(x)). (University of Toronto Math Competition 2010) Solution: The standard approach would be to write f(x) = ax 2 + bx + c and play around with the coefficients of f(x)f(x + 1). It is doable, but quite messy. Let us look at the roots. Let f(x) = a(x r)(x s), then: f(x)f(x + 1) = a 2 (x r)(x s + 1) (x s)(x r + 1) = = a 2 ([x 2 (r + s 1)x + rs] r)([x 2 (r + s 1)x + rs] s) and we are done by setting g(x) = a 2 (x r)(x s), h(x) = x 2 (r + s 1)x + rs. Warm-up Problem 2: The polynomial f(x) = x n + a 1 x n 1 + a 2 x n a n 1 x + a n = 0 with integer non-zero coefficients has n distinct integer roots. Prove that if the roots are pairwise coprime, then a n 1 and a n are coprime. (Russian Math Olympiad 2004) Solution: Assume gcd(a n 1, a n ) 1, then both a n 1 and a n are divisible by some prime p. Let the roots of the polynomial be r 1, r 2,, r n. Then r 1 r 2 r n = ( 1) n a n. This is divisible p, so at least one of the roots, wolog r 1, is divisible by p. We also have: r 1 r 2 r n 1 + r 1 r 3 r 4 r n r 2 r 3 r n = ( 1) n 1 a n 1 0 mod p All terms containing r 1 are divisible by p, hence r 2 r 3 r n is divisible by p. Hence gcd(r 1, r 2 r 3 r n ) is divisible by p contradicting the fact that the roots are pairwise coprime. The result follows. 1 Algebra Fundamental Theorem of Algebra: A polynomial P (x) of degree n with complex coefficients has n complex roots. It can be uniquely factored as: P (x) = a(x r 1 )(x r 2 ) (x r n ) Vieta s Formulas: Let P (x) = a n x n + a n 1 x n a 1 x + a 0 with complex coefficients have roots r 1, r 2,, r n. Then: n i=1 r i = ( 1) 1 a n 1 a n ; i<j r i r j = ( 1) 2 a n 2 a n ; r 1 r 2 r n = ( 1) n a 0 a n 1

2 Bezout s Theorem: A polynomial P (x) is divisible by (x a) iff P (a) = 0. Lagrange Interpolation: Given n points (x 1, y 1 ),, (x n, y n ), there is a unique polynomial P (x) satisfying P (x i ) = y i. Its explicit formula is: P (x) = n i=1 y i 1 j n,j i x x j x i x j A few general tricks related to polynomials: Look at the roots. If you want to show a polynomial is identically 0, it is sometimes useful to look at an arbitrary root r of this polynomial, and then show the polynomial must have another root, e.g. r + 1, thus producing a sequence of infinitely many roots. Look at the coefficients. This is particularly useful when the coefficients are integers. It is often a good idea to look at the leading coefficient and the constant term. Consider the degrees of polynomials. If P (x) is divisible by Q(x) where P, Q are polynomials, then deg(q) deg(p ). A straight-forward fact, yet a useful one. Perform clever algebraic manipulations, such as factoring, expanding, introducing new polynomials, substituting other values for x, e.g. x + 1, 1 x, etc. 1.1 Warm-up 1. Let P (x) and Q(x) be polynomials with real coefficients such that P (x) = Q(x) for all real values of x. Prove that P (x) = Q(x) for all complex values of x. 2. (a) Determine all polynomials P (x) with real coefficients such that P (x 2 ) = P 2 (x). (b) Determine all polynomials P (x) with real coefficients such that P (x 2 ) = P (x)p (x + 1). (c) Suppose P (x) is a polynomial such that P (x 1) + P (x + 1) = 2P (x) for all real x. Prove that P (x) has degree at most (USAMO 1975) A polynomial P (x) of degree n satisfies P (k) = k k + 1 Find P (n + 1). for k = 0, 1, 2,..., n. 1.2 Problems 1. (Brazil 2007) Let P (x) = x x+1. Prove that for every positive integer n, the equation P (P (... (P (x))...)) = 0 has at least one real solution, where the composition is performed n times. 2. (Russia 2002) Among the polynomials P (x), Q(x), R(x) with real coefficients at least one has degree two and one has degree three. If P 2 (x) + Q 2 (x) = R 2 (x) prove that one of the polynomials of degree three has three real roots. 3. Let P (x) = a n x n + a n 1 x n a 1 x + a 0 be a polynomial with integer coefficients such that a 0 is prime and a 0 > a 1 + a a n. Prove that P (x) is irreducible (that is, cannot be factored into two polynomials with integer coefficients of degree at least 1). 2

3 4. (Russia 2003) The side lengths of a triangle are the roots of a cubic equation with rational coefficients. Prove that the altitudes are the roots of a degree six equation with rational coefficients. 5. (Russia 1997) Does there exist a set S of non-zero real numbers such that for any positive integer n there exists a polynomial P (x) with degree at least n, all the roots and all the coefficients of which are from S? 6. (Putnam 2010) Find all polynomials P (x), Q(x) with real coefficients such that P (x)q(x + 1) P (x + 1)Q(x) = (IMO SL 2005) Let a, b, c, d, e, f be positive integers. Suppose that S = a + b + c + d + e + f divides both abc + def and ab + bc + ca de ef fd. Prove that S is composite. 8. (USAMO 2002) Prove that any monic polynomial (a polynomial with leading coefficient 1) of degree n with real coefficients can be written as the average of two monic polynomials of degree n with n real roots. 9. (Iran TST 2010) Find all two-variable polynomials P (x, y) such that for any real numbers a, b, c: P (ab, c 2 + 1) + P (bc, a 2 + 1) + P (ca, b 2 + 1) = (China TST 2007) Prove that for any positive integer n, there exists exactly one polynomial P (x) of degree n with real coefficients, such that P (0) = 1 and (x + 1)(P (x)) 2 1 is an odd function. (A function f(x) is odd if f(x) = f( x) for all x). 2 Number Theory By Z[x] we denote all the polynomials of one variable with integer coefficients. Arguably the most useful property when it comes to polynomials and integers is: If P (x) Z[x], and a, b are integers, then (a b) (P (a) P (b)) Recall that polynomial in Z[x] is irreducible over the integers if it cannot be factored into two polynomials with integer coefficients. Eisenstein s Criterion: Let P (x) = a n x n + a n 1 x n a 1 x + a 0 Z[x] be a polynomial and p be a prime dividing a 0, a 1,..., a n 1, such that p a n and p 2 a 0. Then P (x) is irreducible. Proof: Assume P (x) = Q(x)R(x), where Q(x) = b k x k + b k 1 x k b 1 x + b 0, R(x) = c l x l + c l 1 x l c 1 x + c 0. Then b 0 c 0 is divisible by p but not p 2. Wolog p b 0, p c 0. Since p a 1 = b 1 c 0 + b 0 c 1 it follows that p b 1. Since p a 2 = b 2 c 0 + b 1 c 1 + b 0 c 2 it follows that p b 2. By induction it follows that p b k which implies that p a n, a contradiction. Lemma [Schur] Let P (x) Z[x] be a non-constant polynomial. Then there are infinitely many primes dividing at least one of the non-zero terms in the sequence P (1), P (2), P (3),... Proof: Assume first that P (0) = 1. There exists an integer M such that P (n) 1 for all n > M (or else P (x) 1 has infinitely many roots and therefore is constant). We also have P (n!) 1( mod n!), and by taking arbitrarily large integers n we can generate arbitrarily large primes dividing P (n!). 3

4 If P (0) = 0, the result is obvious. Otherwise consider Q(x) = of reasoning to Q(x); the result follows. P (xp (0)) P (0) and apply the same line For polynomials in Z[x] it is often useful to work modulo a positive integer k. If P (x) = n i=0 a ix i Z[x] and k is a positive integer we call P (x) = n i=0 a ix i the reduction of P (x) (mod k), where a i = a i (mod k). Some useful facts about reduced polynomials: 1. Let P (x), Q(x), R(x), S(x) Z[x], such that P (x) = (Q(x) + R(x))S(x). Then P (x) = (Q(x) + R(x))(S(x)). 2. Let p be a prime and P (x) Z[x]. Then the factorization of P (x) is unique modulo p (more formally, in F p [x] up to permutation.) Note that this result does not hold when p is not a prime. For example, x = (2x + 3)(3x + 2) mod 6 if x, 2x + 3, 3x + 2 are prime. Also remember that all roots of P (x) modulo p are in the set {0, 1,..., p 1}. 2.1 Warm-Up 1. (a) Let p be a prime number. Prove that P (x) = x p 1 + x p x + 1 is irreducible. (b) Prove Eisenstein s Criterion by considering a reduction modulo p. 2. (Iran 2007) Does there exist a sequence of integers a 0, a 1, a 2,... such that gcd(a i, a j ) = 1 for n i j, and for every positive integer n, the polynomial a i x i is irreducible? 3. (a) (Bezout) Let P (x), Q(x) be polynomials with integer coefficients such that P (x), Q(x) do not have any roots in common. Prove that there exist polynomials A(x), B(x) and an integer N such that A(x)P (x) + B(x)Q(x) = N. (b) Let P (x), Q(x) be monic non-constant irreducible polynomials with integer coefficients. For all sufficiently large n, P (n) and Q(n) have the same prime divisors. Prove that P (x) Q(x). 2.2 Problems 1. (a) (USAMO 1974)Let a, b, c be three distinct integers. Prove that there does not exist a polynomial P (x) with integer coefficients such that P (a) = b, P (b) = c, P (c) = a. (b) (IMO 2006) Let P (x) be a polynomial of degree n > 1 with integer coefficients and let k be a positive integer. Let Q(x) = P (P (... P (P (x))...)), where the polynomial P is composed k times. Prove that there are at most n integers t such that Q(t) = t. 2. (Romania TST 2007) Let P (x) = x n + a n 1 x n a 1 x + a 0 be a polynomial of degree n 3 with integer coefficients such that P (m) is even for all even integers m. Furthermore, a 0 is even, and a k + a n k is even for k = 1, 2,..., n 1. Suppose P (x) = Q(x)R(x) where Q(x), R(x) are polynomials with integer coefficients, deg Q deg R, and all coefficients of R(x) are odd. Prove that P (x) has an integer root. 3. (USA TST 2010) Let P (x) be a polynomial with integer coefficients such that P (0) = 0 and gcd(p (0), P (1), P (2),...) = 1. Prove that there are infinitely many positive integers n such that gcd(p (n) P (0), P (n + 1) P (1), P (n + 2) P (2),...) = n. i=0 4

5 4. (Iran TST 2004) Let P (x) be a polynomial with integer coefficients such that P (n) > n for every positive integer n. Define the sequence x k by x 1 = 1, x i+1 = P (x i ) for i 1. For every positive integer m, there exists a term in this sequence divisible by m. Prove that P (x) = x (China TST 2006) Prove that for any n 2, there exists a polynomial P (x) = x n +a n 1 x n a 1 x + a 0 such that: (a) a 0, a 1,..., a n 1 all are non-zero. (b) P (x) is irreducible. (c) For any integer x, P (x) is not prime. 6. (Russia 2006) A polynomial (x + 1) n 1 is divisible by a polynomial P (x) = x k + a k 1 x k a 1 x + a 0 of even degree k, such that all of its coefficients are odd integers. Prove that n is divisible by k (USAMO 2006) For an integer m, let p(m) be the greatest prime divisor of m. By convention, we set p(±1) = 1 and p(0) =. Find all polynomials f with integer coefficients such that the sequence {p ( f ( n 2)) 2n} n 0 is bounded above. (In particular, f ( n 2) 0 for n 0.) 8. Find all non-constant polynomials P (x) with integer coefficients, such that for any relatively prime integers a, b, the sequence {f(an + b)} n 1 contains an infinite number of terms and any two of which are relatively prime. 9. (IMO SL 2009) Let P (x) be a non-constant polynomial with integer coefficients. Prove that there is no function T from the set of integers into the set of integers such that the number of integers x with T n (x) = x is equal to P (n) for every positive integer n, where T n denotes the n-fold application of T. 10. (USA TST 2008) Let n be a positive integer. Given polynomial P (x) with integer coefficients, define its signature modulo n to be the (ordered) sequence P (1),..., P (n) modulo n. Of the n n such n-term sequences of integers modulo n, how many are the signature of some polynomial P (x) if: (a) n is a positive integer not divisible by the square of a prime. (b) n is a positive integer not divisible by the cube of a prime. 5

6 3 Hints to Selected Problems 3.1 Algebra 2. Difference of squares. 3. Prove that for any complex root r of P (x), we have r > Use Heron s formula to prove the square of the area is a rational number. 5. Look at the smallest and the largest numbers in S by absolute value. Use Vieta s thoerem. 7. The solution involves polynomials. 8. A polynomial has n real roots iff it changes sign n + 1 times. Define one of the polynomials as kq(x) where Q(x) has n roots and k is a constant. 9. Prove that P (x, y) is divisible by x 2 (y 1). 10. Let P (x) = Q(x) + R(x) where Q is an even function and R is an odd function. 3.2 Number Theory 2. Reduce modulo 2. Prove that deg R(x) = Let P (x) = x k Q(x) with Q(x) 0. Consider prime n = p k where p is prime. 4. Prove that x k+1 x k x k+2 x k Reduce modulo Use Eisenstein s Criterion. 7. Look at the irreducibe factors of f. Prove they are of form 4x k What can you say about gcd(n, f(n))? 9. For k N, look at a k, the number of integers x, such that k is the smallest integer for which T k (x) = x. 10. First solve the problem if n is a prime. 6

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