What is a real world application of polynomial factoring?

The wife and I are sitting here on a Saturday night doing some algebra homework. We’re factoring polynomials and both had the same thought at the same time: when will we use this?

I feel a bit silly because it always bugged me when people asked that in grade school. However, we’re both working professionals (I’m a programmer, she’s a photographer) and I can’t recall ever considering polynomial factoring as a solution to the problem I was solving.

Are there real world applications where factoring polynomials could lead to a solution? or is it a “stepping-stone” math that will open my mind to more elaborate solutions that I actually will use?

Thanks for taking the time!

Answer

If you model some phenomenon with a polynomial, it’s often of interest to determine when the polynomial evaluates to zero. One of the tools used in deciding when this happens is factoring.

For example, simple trajectory can be modeled with a quadratic function. If you think of time as the input and height as the output, then the positive time for which the polynomial evaluates to zero is precisely the time when the object hits the ground.

Attribution
Source : Link , Question Author : Mr. JavaScript , Answer Author : Austin Mohr

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