# Irreducibility of a general polynomial in a finite field

by Mystic998
Tags: field, finite, irreducibility, polynomial
 P: 206 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data For prime p, nonzero $a \in \bold{F}_p$, prove that $q(x) = x^p - x + a$ is irreducible over $\bold{F}_p$. 2. Relevant equations 3. The attempt at a solution It's pretty clear that none of the elements of $\bold{F}_p$ are roots of this polynomial. Anyway, so far, following a hint from the book, I've shown that if $\alpha$ is a root of q(x), then so is $\alpha + 1$, and from there I was able to deduce (hopefully not incorrectly) that $\bold{F}_{p}(\alpha)$ is the splitting field for q(x) over the field, but I can't figure out the degree of the extension, so I'm kind of stuck. Any ideas?