# 6.4 Factoring Polynomials

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1 Name Class Date 6.4 Factoring Polynomials Essential Question: What are some ways to factor a polynomial, and how is factoring useful? Resource Locker Explore Analyzing a Visual Model for Polynomial Factorization Factoring a polynomial of degree n involves finding factors of lesser a degree that can be multiplied together to produce the polynomial. When a polynomial has degree 3, for example, you can think of it as a rectangular prism whose dimensions you need to determine. A The volumes of the parts of the rectangular prism are as follows: Red: V = x 3 Green: V = 2 x 2 Yellow: V = 8x Blue: V = 4 x 2 Total volume: V = x x 2 + 8x B The volume of the red piece is found by cubing the length of one side. What is the height of this piece? C D The volume of a rectangular prism is V = lwh, where l is the length, w is the width, and h is the height of the prism. Notice that the green prism shares two sides with the cube. What are the lengths of these two sides? What is the length of the third side of the green prism? E You showed that the width of the cube is and the width of the green prism is. What is the width of the entire prism? Module Lesson 4

2 You determined that the length of the green piece is x. Use the volume of the yellow piece and the information you have derived to find the length of the prism. Since the dimensions of the overall prism are x, x + 2, and x + 4, the volume of the overall prism can be rewritten in factored form as V = (x) (x + 2) (x + 4). Multiply these polynomials together to verify that this is equal to the original given expression for the volume of the overall figure. Reflect 1. Discussion What is one way to double the volume of the prism? Explain 1 Factoring Out the Greatest Common Monomial First Most polynomials cannot be factored over the integers, which means to find factors that use only integer coefficients. But when a polynomial can be factored, each factor has a degree less than the polynomial s degree. While the goal is to write the polynomial as a product of linear factors, this is not always possible. When a factor of degree 2 or greater cannot be factored further, it is called an irreducible factor. Example 1 A 6 x x 2 + 6x Factor each polynomial over the integers. 6 x x 2 + 6x Write out the polynomial. x (6 x x + 6) Factor out a common monomial, an x. 3x (2 x 2 + 5x + 2) Factor out a common monomial, a 3. x (2x + 1) (x + 2) Factor into simplest terms. Note: The second and third steps can be combined into one step by factoring out the greatest common monomial. Module Lesson 4

3 B 2 x 3-20x 3 - x Write out the polynomial. ( x 2-10) Factor out the greatest common monomial. Reflect 2. Why wasn t the factor x 2-10 further factored? 3. Consider what happens when you factor x 2-10 over the real numbers and not merely the integers. Find a such that x 2-10 = (x - a) (x + a). Your Turn 4. 3 x x 2 + 4x Explain 2 Recognizing Special Factoring Patterns Remember the factoring patterns you already know: Difference of two squares: a 2 - b 2 = (a + b) (a - b) Perfect square trinomials: a 2 + 2ab + b 2 2 = (a + b) and a 2-2ab + b 2 2 = (a - b) There are two other factoring patterns that will prove useful: Sum of two cubes : a 3 + b 3 2 = (a + b) (a - ab + b 2 ) Difference of two cubes : a 3 - b 3 2 = (a - b) (a + ab + b 2 ) Notice that in each of the new factoring patterns, the quadratic factor is irreducible over the integers. Example 2 Factor the polynomial using a factoring pattern. A 27 x x Write out the polynomial. 27 x 3 3 = (3x) 3 64 = (4) Check if 27 x 3 is a perfect cube. Check if 64 is a perfect cube. a 3 + b 3 = (a + b) (a 2 - ab + b 2 ) Use the sum of two cubes formula to factor. (3x) = (3x +4) ( (3x) 2 - (3x) (4) ) 27 x = (3x + 4) (9 x 2-12x + 16) Module Lesson 4

4 B 8 x Write out the polynomial. 8 x 3 = ( x) 3 Check if 8 x 3 is a perfect cube. 27 = ( ) 3 Check if 27 is a perfect cube. a 3 - b 3 = (a - b) ( a 2 + ab + b 2 ) Use the difference of two cubes formula to factor. 8 x 3-27 = ( x - ) ( x 2 + x + ) Reflect 5. The equation 8 x 3-27 = 0 has three roots. How many of them are real, what are they, and how many are nonreal? Your Turn x 4 + 5x Module Lesson 4

5 Explain 3 Factoring by Grouping Another technique for factoring a polynomial is grouping. If the polynomial has pairs of terms with common factors, factor by grouping terms with common factors and then factoring out the common factor from each group. Then look for a common factor of the groups in order to complete the factorization of the polynomial. Example 3 Factor the polynomial by grouping. A x 3 + x 2 + x + 1 Write out the polynomial. x 3 - x 2 + x - 1 Group by common factor. ( x 3 - x 2 ) + (x - 1) Factor. x 2 (x - 1) + 1 (x - 1) Regroup. ( x 2 + 1) (x - 1) B x 4 + x 3 + x + 1 Write out the polynomial. x 4 + x 3 + x + 1 Group by common factor. ( + ) + (x + 1) Factor. (x + 1) + (x + 1) Regroup. ( + )(x + 1) Apply sum of two cubes to the first term. ( - + 1) (x + 1) (x + 1) Substitute this into the expression and simplify. ( ) 2 ( ) Your Turn 7. x x 2 + 3x + 2 Explain 4 Solving a Real-World Problem by Factoring a Polynomial Remember that the zero-product property is used in solving factorable quadratic equations. It can also be used in solving factorable polynomial equations. Module Lesson 4

6 Example 4 Write and solve a polynomial equation for the situation described. A A water park is designing a new pool in the shape of a rectangular prism. The sides and bottom of the pool are made of material 5 feet thick. The length must be twice the height (depth), and the interior width must be three times the interior height. The volume of the box must be 6000 cubic feet. What are the exterior dimensions of the pool? The dimensions of the interior of the pool, as described by the problem, are the following: h = x - 5 w = 3x - 15 l = 2x - 10 The formula for volume of a rectangular prism is V = lwh. Plug the values into the volume equation. V = (x - 5) (3x - 15) (2x - 10) V = (x - 5) (6 x 2-60x + 150) V = 6 x 3-90 x x Now solve for V = = 6 x 3-90 x x = 6 x 3-90 x x Factor the resulting new polynomial. 6 x 3-90 x x = 6 x 2 (x - 15) (x - 15) = (6 x ) (x - 15) The only real root is x = 15. B The interior height of the pool will be 10 feet, the interior width 30 feet, and the interior length 20 feet. Therefore, the exterior height is 15 feet, the exterior length is 30 feet, and the exterior width is 40 feet. Engineering To build a hefty wooden feeding trough for a zoo, its sides and bottom should be 2 feet thick, and its outer length should be twice its outer width and height. What should the outer dimensions of the trough be if it is to hold 288 cubic feet of water? Volume = Interior Length(feet) Interior Width(feet) Interior Height(feet) 288 = ( - 4) ( - 4) ( - 2) 288 = x 3 - x 2 + x - 0 = x 3 - x 2 + x - 0 = (x - ) + (x - ) Image Credits: morrison77/shutterstock 0 = ( x 2 + ) (x - ) The only real solution is x =. The trough is feet long, feet wide, and feet high. Module Lesson 4

7 Your Turn 8. Engineering A new shed is being designed in the shape of a rectangular prism. The shed s side and bottom should be 3 feet thick. Its outer length should be twice its outer width and height. What should the outer dimensions of the shed be if it is to have 972 cubic feet of space? Elaborate 9. Describe how the method of grouping incorporates the method of factoring out the greatest common monomial. 10. How do you decide if an equation fits in the sum of two cubes pattern? 11. How can factoring be used to solve a polynomial equation of the form p (x) = a, where a is a nonzero constant? 12. Essential Question Check-In What are two ways to factor a polynomial? Module Lesson 4

8 Evaluate: Homework and Practice Factor the polynomial, or identify it as irreducible. 1. x 3 + x 2-12x 2. x Online Homework Hints and Help Extra Practice 3. x x x 2 + 6x 5. 8 x x 3 + 6x x x x x x x x x x 12. x Module Lesson 4

9 Factor the polynomial by grouping. 13. x x 2 + 6x x x 2 - x x x x x x 3-64x x x 2 + 3x x 4-4 x 3 - x + 1 Write and solve a polynomial equation for the situation described. 19. Engineering A new rectangular outbuilding for a farm is being designed. The outbuilding s side and bottom should be 4 feet thick. Its outer length should be twice its outer width and height. What should the outer dimensions of the outbuilding be if it is to hold 2304 cubic feet? Image Credits: Alex Ramsay/Alamy 20. Arts A piece of rectangular crafting supply is being cut for a new sculpture. You want its length to be 4 times its height and its width to be 2 times its height. If you want the wood to be 64 cubic centimeters, what will its length, width, and height be? Module Lesson 4

10 21. Engineering A new rectangular holding tank is being built. The tank s side and bottom should be 1 foot thick. Its outer length should be twice its outer width and height. What should the outer dimensions of the tank be if it is to hold 36 cubic feet? 22. Construction A piece of granite is being cut for a building foundation. You want its length to be 8 times its height and its width to be 3 times its height. If you want the granite to be 648 cubic yards, what will its length, width, and height be? 23. State which, if any, special factoring pattern each of the following polynomial functions follows: a. x 2-4 b. 3 x c. 4 x d. 16 x e. 64 x 3 - x H.O.T. Focus on Higher Order Thinking 24. Communicate Mathematical Ideas What is the relationship between the degree of a polynomial and the degree of its factors? 25. Critical Thinking Why is there no sum-of-two-squares factoring pattern? Image Credits: Gennadiy Iotkovskiy/Alamy Module Lesson 4

11 26. Explain the Error Jim was trying to factor a polynomial function and produced the following result: 3 x 3 + x 2 + 3x + 1 Write out the polynomial. 3 x 2 (x + 1) + 3 (x + 1) Group by common factor. 3 ( x 2 + 1) (x + 1) Regroup. Explain Jim s error. 27. Factoring can also be done over the complex numbers. This allows you to find all the roots of an equation, not just the real ones. Complete the steps showing how to use a special factor identity to factor x over the complex numbers. x Write out the polynomial. x 2 - (-4) (x + ) (x - ) Factor. (x + 2i) ( ) Simplify. 28. Find all the complex roots of the equation x 4-16 = Factor x 3 + x 2 + x + 1 over the complex numbers. Module Lesson 4

12 Lesson Performance Task Sabrina is building a rectangular raised flower bed. The boards on the two shorter sides are 6 inches thick, and the boards on the two longer sides are 4 inches thick. Sabrina wants the outer length of her bed to be 4 times its height and the outer width to be 2 times its height. She also wants the boards to rise 4 inches above the level of the soil in the bed. What should the outer dimensions of the bed be if she wants it to hold 3136 cubic inches of soil? Image Credits: Gary K Smith/Alamy Module Lesson 4

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