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Homework Help: Is 18 a polynomial?

  1. Oct 2, 2017 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Is the following a polynomial or not: 18

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution
    Not a polynomial (computer says it is)
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2017 #2

    DrClaude

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    Staff: Mentor

    What is the definition of a polynomial?

    And what is that computer that's giving you answers???
     
  4. Oct 2, 2017 #3
    A polynomial is of the form ax^n + bx^m where a, b, n, and m are integers

    And it's a test on mymathlab.com that counts 2.5% to my final grade (I get unlimited tries until October 26th)
     
  5. Oct 2, 2017 #4

    DrClaude

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    Staff: Mentor

    That's not a very good definition (and false if one is to take a and b as integers only). Have a look at Wikipedia for a better one.

    But even with your definition, can you find coefficients a, b, n, and m such that the result is ax^n + bx^m = 18?
     
  6. Oct 2, 2017 #5
    Thanks :D

    Yes, but 18 itself isn't a polynomial? :confused:
     
  7. Oct 2, 2017 #6
    Or is 18 just a polynomial of order 0
     
  8. Oct 2, 2017 #7

    DrClaude

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    Staff: Mentor

    In general parlance, no, 18 is not a polynomial. But in the context of polynomials, you can indeed say that 18 is a polynomial of degree 0, with only a constant coefficient.
     
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