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Factoring Polynomial

  1. Mar 20, 2013 #1
    Hey,

    This isn't really a homework question, per se, as I am relearning some pre calculus for kicks. But I figured his would be the place to ask. For whatever reason, this very simply factoring issue has got my head spinning. I'm not exactly sure what I am doing wrong to factor this equation completely.

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    [(x-1)(x+2)2 - (x-1)2(x+2)]



    2. Relevant equations

    n/a


    3. The attempt at a solution

    So here is what I did (though I am sure incorrectly) so far. I have not clue what to do after that.

    [(x-1)(x+2)2 - (x-1)2(x+2)]

    [(x-1)(x+2)(x-2) - (x-1)(x-1)(x+2)]

    And then ??????


    Anyway, I'm utterly lost in this simply problem, please help a mathematically challenged young man. :confused::smile: Thanks


    -ForwardDrift
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2013 #2

    SammyS

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    Hello ForwardDrift. Welcome to PF !

    What factor(s) is(are) common to (x-1)(x+2)(x-2) and (x-1)(x-1)(x+2) ?

    Factor it (them) out.

    Whatever remains should be combined.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2013 #3
    Thanks, I'm glad to be on physics forum SammyS!

    Note: I realized the second (x-2) in my post should have been a (x+2), instead....

    So this is what I ended up doing...

    (x-1)(x+2)(x+2) - (x-1)(x-1)(x+2)

    (x+2)(x-1) [ (x - 1) - ( x + 2) ]

    (x+2)(x-1) [ 3]

    3(x+2)(x-1)


    Is this right, Sammy? I'm not sure about that 3. Something seems wrong about the way I calculated the inside brackets. Am I supposed to reverse a (-) or (+) inside the brackets or something?

    -ForwardDrift
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  5. Mar 20, 2013 #4

    SammyS

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    Not quite.

    [ (x - 1) - ( x + 2) ] = [ x - 1 -x -2 ] = -3
     
  6. Mar 20, 2013 #5
    Alright, thanks Sam, my man. You have been a great help! :)
     
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