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Homework Help: Highest degree of a given polynomial is

  1. Jan 6, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A polynomial p(x) is such that p(0)=5, p(1)=4, p(2)=9 and p(3)=20. the minimum degree it can have
    a) 1 b) 2 c) 3 d) 4
    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    a) Not Possible can't connect these points using straight line
    b) Not even possible to connect these points using 2 degree polynomial
    I'm confused with options c) and d)
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 6, 2015 #2


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    Please make an effort to place you HW threads into the proper HW forum.
  4. Jan 6, 2015 #3
    not so fast.....

    If you want to know wether it's possible with 1st degree polynomial, compute the differences between consecutive numbers, if these are all the same, it is possible.
    To do this for a 2nd degree polynomial, compute the differences between those differences, if these are all the same, it is possible. etc.
  5. Jan 6, 2015 #4


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    Please post your reasoning.
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