Finding Zeros of Polynomials
Date: 11/13/2001 at 21:23:39 From: Yazmin Alvarez Subject: Finding zeros of polynomials Can you explain how to find the zeros of polynomials? Also, can you give me an example of an application?
Date: 11/15/2001 at 10:55:06 From: Doctor Code Subject: Re: Finding zeros of polynomials Hi Yazmin, There are different ways to find zeros. The easiest is when the polynomial is factorable: x^2 + 5x + 6 = 0 (x + 2)(x + 3) = 0 The zeros are the values for x that make the value of the polynomial equal to zero. In the above example, it's when x = -2 and when x = -3. If the polynomials aren't factorable, you have to use another method such as Newton's Method, which you can find more information on in the Dr. Math archives: Finding Roots of Polynomials with Complex Numbers http://mathforum.org/dr.math/problems/ed.09.27.01.html One example from my field is a robot that has a hand, and is trying to balance a broom. The question is, if the robot sees the broom tip a certain amount, how much force should the robot exert in order to keep the broom from falling? If the robot pushes too hard or too softly, the broom will fall over. One way to obtain the optimal force gains is to solve a simplified equation of motion of the broom. This equation is a quadratic polynomial, and getting the zeros of this polynomial will give you the force gains you need. You're probably thinking, who cares if a robot can balance a broom? But it turns out that nearly all robots need these sorts of techniques in order to move. Write back if you need more help. - Doctor Code, The Math Forum http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
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