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Vieta'sFormulaQuadratics

Topics

Vieta'sformularelatesthecoefficientsofpolynomialstothesumand

Algebra

Vieta'sFormulaFormingQuadratics

productsoftheirroots,aswellastheproductstakeningroups.

Vieta'sFormulaHigherDegrees

Geometry

Forexample,ifthereisaquadraticpolynomial

NumberTheory

willhaverootsof

Calculus

and

,it

.Vieta'sformulacandirectly

Combinatorics

findthesumoftheroots(

BasicMathematics

)andtheproductoftheroots

.Whilethisisfairlytrivialinthisspecificexample,

Logic

Vieta'sformulaisextremelyusefulinmorecomplicatedalgebraic

ClassicalMechanics

polynomialswithmanyrootsorwhentherootsofapolynomialarenot

ElectricityandMagnetism
ComputerScience

Vieta'sFormulaProblemSolving

,because

RelevantFor...
Algebra

Vieta'sFormula

easytoderive.Forsomeproblems,Vieta'sformulacanserveasashortcuttofindsolutionsquicklyknowingthesumsor
productsoftheirroots.

QuantitativeFinance
Chemistry

Contents

SATMath

Vieta'sFormulaQuadratics

JEEMath

Vieta'sFormulaFormingQuadratics

GeneralizationtoHigherDegreePolynomials
ProblemSolvingBasic
ProblemSolvingIntermediate
ProblemSolvingAdvanced
VietaRootJumping
SeeAlso

Vieta'sFormulaQuadratics

Edit

Let'sstartwithadefinition.

DEFI NI TI ON

Vieta'sFormulaforQuadratics:
Given

,iftheequation

hasroots

and

,then

Theproofofthisstatementisgivenattheendofthissection.
Weimmediatelyseehowthecoefficientsofaquadratichelptodeterminetherelationshipoftheroots.

EXAMPLE

If and aretherootsofthequadratic

,whatarethevaluesof

1.
2.
3.

1.FromVieta'sformula,werecognizethat

https://brilliant.org/wiki/vietasformula/#vietasformulahigherdegrees

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2.FromVieta'sformula,werecognizethat

3.Vieta'sformuladoesn'ttellusthevalueof
termsof

and/or

directly.Whatweneedtodo,istowrite

in

,andwecanthensubstitutethesevaluesin.Wehave

Note:Inthisquestion,therootsarethecomplexnumbers

.Ifweweretousetheseasthevaluesof and

andthencompute,wehaveahigherchanceofmakingcarelesscalculationmistakes.Vieta'sformulaoffersusa
simplerapproach.

EXAMPLE

Canyouquicklyguesstherootsofthequadratic

If and aretherootsofthegivenequation,thenVieta'sformulatellsus

andit'snothardtoseethat

and

Sotherootsmustbe and ,andtheyindeedare.

EXAMPLE

Given and aretherootsofthequadratic

Vieta'sformulagivesus

Youmayrecognize

and

,express

intermsof and .

.Substitutingthesein,weget

fromtheQuadraticFormula.Infact,wecanshowthat

whichprovesthequadraticformula.

PROOF

BytheRemainderFactorTheorem,sincethepolynomial

hasroots

and

,itmusthavetheform

forsomeconstant .
Comparingcoefficientswith

,weconcludethat

and

.Hence,weget

Vieta'sFormulaFormingQuadratics

Edit

Let and betherealrootsofthemonicquadraticequation

https://brilliant.org/wiki/vietasformula/#vietasformulahigherdegrees

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Whymonic?Becausewecanalwaysdividethewholeequationbyitsleadingcoefficienttogetamonicversionofit.So
whatcanwesayabout

?Since and aretherootsofthisequation,wecanfactorizetheequationas

Expandingtherightsideandrearranging,wefind

Sincetwopolynomialsareequalifandonlyiftheircoefficientsareequal,byequatingthecoefficientsweget

ThisisthesocalledVieta'sformulaforaquadraticpolynomial.Itcanbesimilarlyextendedtopolynomialsofhigher
degree.
Therootscanbegeneralizedtoincludecomplexnumbers.Thatis,giventwocomplexnumbers and ,wecanalways
constructamonicquadraticwhoserootsare and .Morespecifically,thequadraticwillbe

Whenwillboththecoefficientsbereal?Tofindtheanswer,set

and

.Thenthecoefficients

are

For tobereal,weneed

implyingeither

.For tobereal,weneed

or

.Henceeitherweneedboth and real,or and arecomplexconjugatesof

eachother.

EXAMPLE

Findaquadraticwhoserootsare and .

Letthequadraticbe

,wherewewishtofind and .ThenVieta'sformulatellsusthat

Thereforethedesiredquadraticis

EXAMPLE

Findaquadraticwhoserootsare

and

Letthedesiredquadraticbe

,wherewewishtofind and .ThenVieta'sformulatellsus

Sothedesiredquadraticis

Note:Sincetherootswerecomplexconjugatesofeachother,thecoefficientsofthequadraticbecamereal.

EXAMPLE

Solvethesystemofequations

ByVieta'sFormula,weknowthat and aretherootsoftheequation


itas

,wegetthat

https://brilliant.org/wiki/vietasformula/#vietasformulahigherdegrees

.Sincewecanfactorize

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GeneralizationtoHigherDegreePolynomials
Consideraquadraticequationwithcomplexcoefficientsandroots

Edit

Bycomparingcoefficients,wecanseethat

Thisgivesarelationshipbetweentherootsofapolynomialandthecoefficientsofthepolynomial.Generalizingthisidea
forapolynomialofdegree ,wehave

DEFI NI TI ON

Vieta'sFormula:
Let

beapolynomialwithcomplexcoefficientsanddegree ,having

complexroots

.Thenforanyinteger

TheexpressionsonthelefthandsideofVieta'sformulaaretheelementarysymmetricfunctionsof

.The

proofofVieta'sformulafollowsbycomparingcoefficientsintheequation

Asinthequadraticcase,Vieta'sformulagivesanequationtofindthesumofroots:

Similarly,wehavethefollowingequationfortheproductofroots:

Vieta'sformulagivesrelationshipsbetweenpolynomialrootsandcoefficientsthatareoftenusefulinproblemsolving.

EXAMPLE

Suppose isanumbersuchthatthecubicpolynomial
allprimenumbers.Howmanypossibledistinctvaluesaretherefor ?

Let
since

and denotethethreeintegerrootsof

hasthreeintegerrootsthatare

.ThenbyVieta'sformula,wehave

and areprime,eachofthemarestrictlygreaterthan1,andhencenosuch

,but
exists.

EXAMPLE

[1968PutnamExam]Findallpolynomials
satisfyingtheconditionthatallrootsof

If

aretherealrootsof

suchthat

forall

arereal.

,thenVieta'sformulaimplies

whichimplies

https://brilliant.org/wiki/vietasformula/#vietasformulahigherdegrees

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Notethatthisalsoshowsthat
Since

sincethelefthandsideisthesumofsquaresofrealnumbers.

,thisimplies

.AlsobyVieta'sformula,

inequality,wehave
,implying
Searchwikipagesandproblems
solutionsare
,
,and

.ThenbytheAMGM

.Wecanthenenumerateallsuchpolynomialstofindthe
.

EXAMPLE

Let

and

betherootsofthepolynomial

.Evaluate

Inthisproblem,theapplicationofVieta'sformulasisnotimmediatelyobvious,andtheexpressionhastobe
transformed.FromFactorization4,wehave

Nowweonlyneedtoknowhowtocalculate

.Again,fromfactorization,wehave

whichallowsustoconcludethat

ProblemSolvingBasic

Edit

TRY I TYOURSELF

Let and be distinctrealnumberssuchthat


.Findthevalueof

Submityouranswer
.

EXAMPLE

Findalltriplesofcomplexnumberswhichsatisfythefollowingsystemofequations:

Any numbers

canbeconsideredastherootsofthemoniccubicpolynomial

ApplyingVieta'sformulatothepolynomial,weget
multiplicity ),whichimpliesthat

.Hence,theonlyrootof

is

(with

istheonlytripleofcomplexnumbersthatsatisfiesthesystemof

equations.

EXAMPLE

Let

and

betherootsofthepolynomial

https://brilliant.org/wiki/vietasformula/#vietasformulahigherdegrees

.Evaluate

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Theexpressionisequalto

.ByVieta'sFormula,weknowthat

so

Note:Acommonapproachwouldbetotryandfindeachrootofthepolynomial,especiallysinceweknowthatoneof
therootsmustbereal(why?).However,thisisnotnecessarilyaviableoption,sinceitishardforustodetermine
whattherootsactuallyare.

TRY I TYOURSELF

Ifthesumofthereciprocalsoftherootsofthequadratic

is

Submityouranswer

,whatis ?

ProblemSolvingIntermediate

Edit

EXAMPLE

Let

and

betherootsofthepolynomial

.Evaluate

Inthisproblem,theapplicationofVieta'sformulasisnotimmediatelyobvious,andtheexpressionhastobe
transformed.Fromfactorization,wehave

Nowweonlyneedtoknowhowtocalculate

.Again,fromfactorization,wehave

whichallowsustoconcludethat

EXAMPLE

If
and

aretherootstotheequation

,whatisthequadraticequationwhoserootsare

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EXAMPLE

[ARML2012,TeamProblems,#6]
Thezerosof

aredistinctcomplexnumbers.Computethe

averagevalueof

overallpossiblepermutations

ofthesesixnumbers.

ProblemSolvingAdvanced

Edit

EXAMPLE

[IMOshortlist]Determineallrealvaluesoftheparameter forwhichtheequation

hasexactlyfourdistinctrealrootsthatformageometricprogression.

Supposethat satisfiestherequirementsoftheproblemandthat ,
equation.Then

andwemayassumethat

aretherootsofthegiven

,sothat

.Noticethatthe

coefficientsaresymmetric,namelythefirstcoefficientisthesameasthefifthone,thesecondisthesameasthe
fourthandthethirdisthesameasthethird.Itguaranteesusthatif isaroot,thenitsreciprocal(whichis
)willalsobearoot.Hence,

so

andtherootsare

Now,byVieta'sformulawehave
Onsetting

and

theseequationsbecome

Substituting

inthesecondequationleadsto

thispolynomialfactorsas
is

.Since

.Weobservethat
,theonlyviablevalue

.Consequently

Rearrangingtheequation,weget
andtherefore

whoserootsare and

.Tosimplifyit,wecancall
,thusgettinganewform

.Wehavetoplugthetwobackinto

,leadingustotwomorequadratics,

gettingfinally

EXAMPLE

[CreatedbyMarkHennings]Showthat

foranyinteger

Solution:(ByAdityaSharma)
LetusstartwithDeMoivre'stheoremforanypositiveintegern.

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WecangroupRHSasfollowssincewehave
=
EquaingimaginarypartsonLHS&RHSweget,

Nowwelet

[Sincesin(mx)=

&

forany

.&theequationreducesto:

=0]

Let
Soitisaequationin'u'andit'ssumofrootsisgivenby

asweknowfromthevieta's.

Wehave

EXAMPLE

Whatis

[Needssolution]

[[problemshttps://brilliant.org/problems/rootsinagp2/?group=fqCLeVjFqXCV]]

VietaRootJumping

Edit

MainArticle:VietaRootJumping

Vietajumpingisanicknameforaparticularkindofdescentmethodthathasbecomequitepopularinhigherlevelmath
olympiadnumbertheoryproblems.Likeotherinstancesofdescent,itoccurswhenyouhavetosolveaDiophantine
equation(orsystemofequations,congruencesorinequalities)whosesolutionshavesomerecursivestructure.

SeeAlso

Edit

PolynomialRoots
FactoringPolynomials

https://brilliant.org/wiki/vietasformula/#vietasformulahigherdegrees

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VietaRootJumping

Citeas:Vieta'sFormula.Brilliant.org.Retrieved01:24,March28,2016,fromhttps://brilliant.org/wiki/vietasformula/

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