This week, we learn about Vieta's Formula, which allows us to relate the roots of a polynomial to its coefficients.

How would you use Vieta's Formula to solve the following?

If \( \alpha, \beta \) are the roots to the equation \( x^2 +2x+3 = 0 \), what is the quadratic equation whose roots are \( (\alpha - \frac{1}{\alpha} )^2\) and \( ( \beta - \frac{1}{\beta} ) ^ 2 \)?

Share a problem which requires understanding of Vieta’s Formula.

No vote yet

37 votes

×

Problem Loading...

Note Loading...

Set Loading...

Easy Math Editor

`*italics*`

or`_italics_`

italics`**bold**`

or`__bold__`

boldNote: you must add a full line of space before and after lists for them to show up correctlyparagraph 1

paragraph 2

`[example link](https://brilliant.org)`

`> This is a quote`

Remember to wrap math in \( ... \) or \[ ... \] to ensure proper formatting.`2 \times 3`

`2^{34}`

`a_{i-1}`

`\frac{2}{3}`

`\sqrt{2}`

`\sum_{i=1}^3`

`\sin \theta`

`\boxed{123}`

## Comments

Sort by:

TopNewestShow that \[ \sum_{j=1}^n \cot^2\Big(\tfrac{j \pi}{2n+1}\Big) \; = \; \tfrac13n(2n-1) \] for any integer \(n \ge 1\). What is \[ \sum_{j=1}^n \cot^4\Big(\tfrac{j \pi}{2n+1}\Big) \qquad \mbox{?} \]

Log in to reply

I like this one. The idea is to show that \( \prod_{j=1}^n \left( x^2 - \cot^2( \frac{j\pi}{2n+1} ) \right) = \frac1{2n+1} {\rm Im} (x+i)^{2n+1} \) by comparing roots; then compare coefficients of \( x^{2n-2} \).

Log in to reply

Another way to look at it is to (courtesy of de Moivre's Theorem) find the degree \(n\) polynomial \(f_n(X)\) such that \[ \sin(2n+1)x \; = \; \sin^{2n+1}x f_n(\cot^2x) \] and identify the roots of \(f_n(X)\).

What is cool is that you can use these identities to obtain low-level proofs of the series \[ \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^2} \; = \; \tfrac16\pi^2 \qquad \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n^4} \; = \; \tfrac{1}{90}\pi^4 \] since you can use them to obtain error bounds on the partial sums.

Log in to reply

For the given problem ,we use

Vieta's Formulaand get :\[ \alpha + \beta = - \dfrac{b}{a} = -2 \] and \[ \alpha \cdot \beta = \dfrac{c}{a} = 3 \]

[Now - considering the case that Calvin sir wanted it to be \( (\alpha - \dfrac{1}{\alpha} )^2 \)]

Let the new equation be -

\[ Ax^2 + Bx + C = 0 \]

Thus by again applying

* Vieta's Formula *,We get the following relations between the

assumedcoefficients and the* required *roots :\[ -\dfrac{B}{A} = \left(\alpha - \dfrac{1}{\alpha} \right)^2 + \left(\beta - \dfrac{1}{\beta} \right)^2 \]

\[ -\dfrac{B}{A} = \alpha ^2 - 2 + \left(\dfrac{1}{\alpha} \right)^2 + \beta^2 - 2 + \left(\dfrac{1}{\beta} \right)^2 \]

To obtain the value of LHS , we convert RHS in the form of \(\alpha + \beta \) and \( \alpha \cdot \beta \).

\[ -\dfrac{B}{A} = ( \alpha + \beta )^2 - 2 \alpha \beta + \left[ \dfrac{1}{\alpha} + \dfrac{1}{\beta} \right]^2 - \dfrac{2}{\alpha\beta} - 4 \]

\[ -\dfrac{B}{A} = ( \alpha + \beta )^2 - 2 \alpha \beta + \left[ \dfrac{\alpha + \beta}{ \alpha \beta} \right]^2 - \dfrac{2}{\alpha\beta} - 4 \]

Thus by putting the values we obtained initially , we have -

\[ -\dfrac{B}{A} = ( -2)^2 - 2 \cdot 3 + \left[ \dfrac{-2}{ 3} \right]^2 - \dfrac{2}{3} - 4 \]

This gives us : [CAUTION : I cancelled the negative signs of both sides]

\[ \dfrac{B}{A} =\boxed{\dfrac{56}{9}}\]

Similarly we get :

\[ \dfrac{C}{A} = \left(\alpha - \dfrac{1}{\alpha} \right)^2 \times \left(\beta - \dfrac{1}{\beta} \right)^2 \]

\[ \dfrac{C}{A} = (\alpha \beta)^2 + \left[ \dfrac{1}{\alpha \beta} \right]^2 - 2(\alpha^2 + \beta^2) + \dfrac{(\alpha^2 + \beta^2 )^2-2 \alpha^2 \beta^2 }{\alpha^2 \beta^2} - 2\left( \dfrac{\alpha^2 + \beta^2 }{\alpha^2 \beta^2 } \right) + 4 \]

Thus , we put the values of \( \alpha + \beta \) , \( \alpha \beta \) and \( \alpha^2 + \beta^2 \) [Refer above]

We get - \[ \dfrac{C}{A} = \dfrac{16}{1} = \boxed{\dfrac{144}{9}} \]

Thus by comparing the values of \( A \) , \( B \) and \( C \) -

We get \[ A = 9 \] \[ B = 56 \] \[ C = 144 \]

And hence , the required quadratic equation is -

\[ \boxed{ 9x^2 + 56x + 144 = 0 }\]

Log in to reply

An easier way is to first find the quadratic equation which has roots \( \alpha - \frac {1}{\alpha} \) and \( \beta - \frac {1}{\beta} \)

By Vieta's formula, we have \( \alpha + \beta = -2 \) and \( \alpha \beta = 3 \), then \( \alpha^2 + \beta^2 = ( \alpha + \beta)^2 - 2 \alpha \beta = (-2)^2 - 2(3) = -2 \)

Now consider a quadratic equation \(f(x)=ax^2+bx+c \) with integers \(a>0,b,c \) which has roots \( \alpha - \frac {1}{\alpha} \) and \( \beta - \frac {1}{\beta} \)

The sum of roots is \( \alpha - \frac {1}{\alpha} + \beta - \frac {1}{\beta} = \alpha + \beta - ( \frac {1}{\alpha} + \frac {1}{\beta} ) = ( \alpha + \beta ) - ( \frac { \alpha + \beta }{\alpha \beta } ) = ( \alpha + \beta ) (1 - \frac {1}{\alpha \beta} ) = (-2)(1 - \frac {1}{3} ) = - \frac {4}{3} \)

And the product of roots is

\( (\alpha - \frac {1}{\alpha})(\beta - \frac {1}{\beta}) = \alpha \beta - ( \frac {\alpha}{\beta} + \frac {\beta}{\alpha} ) + \frac {1}{\alpha \beta} = \alpha \beta - \frac {\alpha^2 + \beta^2 - 1}{\alpha \beta} = 3 - \frac {-2-1}{3} = 4 \)

Then \( f(x) = 3( x^2 - (- \frac {4}{3} ) x + 4 ) = 3x^2 +4x + 12 \) has roots \( \alpha - \frac {1}{\alpha} \) and \( \beta - \frac {1}{\beta} \)

Thus \(f(\sqrt{x}) = 0 \) has roots \( (\alpha - \frac {1}{\alpha})^2 \) and \( (\beta - \frac {1}{\beta})^2 \)

\( \Rightarrow 3 ( \sqrt{x} )^2 + 4 \sqrt{x} + 12 = 0 \)

\( \Rightarrow 3x + 12 = -4 \sqrt{x} \)

\( \Rightarrow (3x+12)^2 = 16x \)

\( \Rightarrow 9x^2 + 56x + 144 = 0 \) has roots \( (\alpha - \frac {1}{\alpha})^2 \) and \( (\beta - \frac {1}{\beta})^2 \)

Log in to reply

Good approach!

I like how you use \( f ( \sqrt{x}) \) to square the roots.

Log in to reply

Do you really mean for \(\beta-\beta^{-1}\) to be squared and \(\alpha-\alpha^{-1}\) not?

Log in to reply

Edited, thanks!

Log in to reply

Let \(m, n > 1\) and \(m, n \in \mathbb{Z}\). Suppose that the product of the solutions for x of the equation \[8(\log_n x)(\log_m x) - 7\log_n x - 6 \log_m x - 2013 = 0\] is the smallest possible integer. Compute \(m + n\)

Source: AMCLog in to reply

Hint: Write \(\log_a b\) as \(\frac{log_b}{log_a}\).

..

Solution:

Using the hint, we have \((\frac{8}{(\log n)(\log m)}) (\log x)^2 - (\frac {7}{\log n} + \frac {6}{\log m})\log x - 2013 = 0\). This is quadratic in \(\log x\). Using vieta's formulas, we have that the sum of the roots \(a_1 = \log x_1, a_2 = \log x_2\) is equal to \( \frac{\frac {7}{\log n} + \frac {6}{\log m}}{\frac{8}{\log n \log m}} = \frac {7 \log m + 6 \log n}{8}\).

Using log properties, this expression is equal to \(\frac {\log m^7 n^6}{8} = \log \sqrt[8] {m^7 n^6}\) Because \( a_1 + a_2 = \log x_1 + \log x_2 = \log x_1 x_2\), the product of the solutions for \(x\) is equal to \( \sqrt[8]{m^7 n^6}\). To minimize this as an integer and \(m , n > 1\), we have \(m = 2^a, n = 2^b \) and find the smallest multiple of \(8\) which can be written as \(7a + 6b\) for \(a, b \geq 1\). Since \(6 \equiv -2 \pmod 8\) and \(7 \equiv -1 \pmod 8\) it is easy to find a solution in \(a = 2, b = 3\). Thus, \(x_1x_2\) is minimized at \(m = 8, n = 4\), and \(m + n = 12\).

Log in to reply

Hard problem, nice solution!

Log in to reply

The zeros of \(f(x) = x^6 + 2x^5 + 3x^4 + 5x^3 + 8x^2 + 13x + 21\) are distinct complex numbers. Compute the average value of \(A + BC + DEF\) over all possible permutations \((A, B, C, D, E, F)\) of these six numbers.

ARML 2012, Team Problems, #6

Log in to reply

First, there are \({6 \choose 3} {3 \choose 2} = 60\) permutations. So, this is equal to \(10(A + B + C + D + E + F) + 4(AB + BC + CD + DE + EF + ...) + 3(ABC + ABD + ABE + ...)\). Using Vieta's formula, this is equal to \(10(-2) +4(3) + 3(-5) = -23\). Taking the average value, this is \(\frac{-23}{60}\).

Log in to reply

(GCDC)

If \(\displaystyle \sum_{a=0}^5 a \times x^a = \displaystyle \prod_{b=1}^{5} (x-x_b)\), evaluate \(\displaystyle \sum_{b=1}^5 -x_b \: ^5\).

EDIT: The answer is \(113\).

Log in to reply

The desired polynomial is \(5x^5 + 4x^4 + 3x^3 + 2x^2 + x\). We wish to find the sum of the fifth powers of the roots \(a, b, c, d, e\). I am confident that a solution can be found using the expansion of \((a + b + c + d + e)^5\) and further and further factorization, and chasing the solution further in this way is trivial. I'll edit the post if I think of more clever way to find the solution.

Log in to reply

You can first find the values of \(a^2 + b^2 + c^2 + d^2 + e^2 \) and \( a^3 + b^3 + c^3 + d^3 + e^3 \). Then find their product. It's much less work compared to actually expanding \( (a+b+c+d+e)^5 \). But still look ridiculously long compared to Newton's Sums.

Log in to reply

For \(n \geq 4\), things begin to get "olympic", thus, as Pi Han Goh stated, making Newton's Sums use much preferable.

Log in to reply

Hey I just wanted to ask, in the 4th and final question in Vieta's formula, how did you find out the roots by just seeing the equation ? Please do explain.

Log in to reply

It becomes a reciprocal polynomial, which is very easy to solve. Those polynomials have roots which multiplied together give 1. Generally, \(x_1\) and \(\frac{1}{x_1}\).

Log in to reply

Can you explain ? Please

Log in to reply

Note that for this polynomial (which Calvin didn't write, but is implicit) \( 16x^4−170x^3+357x^2−170x+16x=0 \; \) the coefficients are symmetrical (the first coefficient is the same as the fifth one, the second is the same as the fourth and the third is the same as the third). It guarantees us that if, let's say, \(\alpha\) is a root, its reciprocal (which is \(\alpha ^{-1} = \frac{1}{\alpha}\)) will also be a root.

Because the independent coefficient (\(x^0\)) is not zero, we can assure that no root equals zero. Therefore we can divide the whole equation by a power of \(x\), which here would be \(x^2\). (Can you figure out why by yourself?)

Rearranging the equation, we get \(16 (x^2 + \frac{1}{x^2}) - 170(x + \frac{1}{x}) + 357 = 0\). To simplify it, we can call \(y = x + \frac{1}{x}\) and therefore \(y^2 = x^2 + 2 + \frac{1}{x^2}\), thus getting a new form \(16 (y^2 - 2) - 170y + 357 = 0 \Rightarrow 16y^2 - 170y +325 = 0\), a quadratic equation easily solvable by any known formula.

Attention now: solving \(16y^2 - 170y +325 = 0\) gives us \(\frac{5}{2}\) and \(\frac{65}{8}\), the values of \(y\), not \(x\). We have to plug the two back into \(y = x + \frac{1}{x}\), leading us to two more quadratics, getting finally \(\boxed{\dfrac{1}{8}, \dfrac{1}{2}, 2, 8}\).

EDIT: Sorry for being too long. Hope you understood.

Log in to reply

Log in to reply

I just felt it'd be much better to explain the full story right from the start to one who isn't familiar to reciprocal polynomials. We have three more other cases, which I really want to work with, but now is not the adequate time (since we are only analising Vieta's Formulae).

Log in to reply

Log in to reply

Log in to reply

Its form now is \(P'(x) = \alpha (x^n + x^{-n}) + \beta (x^{n-1} + x^{1-n}) + \dots + \omega\). Making more changes because \(x \neq 0\), we can express it as a function of \(y = x + x^{-1}\), becoming \(Q(y) = \omega + \psi y + \chi (y^2 - 2) + \dots \;\).

This new polynomial has roots \(y = A, \; B, \; \dots, \; Z\), let's say. After finding them, we plug them back into the equation \(y = x + x^{-1}\). Let's pick \(A\) for this example. Once again because \(x \neq 0\) we can multiply the \(y\) equation by \(x\), finding a quadratic \(x^2 - Ax + 1 = 0\). Note that, for any root of \(Q(x)\),

the product of this quadratic's roots will always be 1, guaranteeing us that if \(P(x_0) = 0\), then \(P(\frac{1}{x_0}) = 0\).Log in to reply

In addition, if a polynomial is of the form \(P(x) = Ax^n + Bx^{n - 1} + \cdots\ + Yx + Z\) and another polynomial is of the form \( Q(x) = Zx^n + Yx^{n-1} \cdots + Bx + A\), then the roots of Q are the reciprocals of the roots of P.

Log in to reply

The product of two of the four zeros of the quadrtic equation

x^4 - 18x^3 + kx^2 + 200x - 1984 = 0 is -32 . then find k

Log in to reply

Answer is 86... By some algebraic manipulation..

Log in to reply

I don't really get vieta's theorem. I know that it us used to solve quadratics and that I am able to use it. The wiki shows some very complicated definition with complex numbers involved. Can someone please help clarify my doubts? Thanks very much.

Log in to reply

*it is

Log in to reply

Perhaps a slightly simpler solution for part 1.

Let the required quadratic equation be: \(x^2 - Ax + B = 0\), then we have:

\(\begin{equation} \begin{split} A & = \left(\alpha - \frac{1}{\alpha} \right)^2 + \left(\beta - \frac{1}{\beta} \right)^2 = \alpha^2 - 2 + \frac{1}{\alpha^2} + \beta^2 - 2 + \frac{1}{\beta^2} = \alpha^2 + \beta^2 - 4 + \frac{1}{\alpha^2} + \frac{1}{\beta^2} \\ & = (\alpha + \beta)^2 - 2 \alpha \beta - 4 + \left(\frac{1}{\alpha} + \frac{1}{\beta}\right)^2 - \frac{2}{ \alpha \beta} = (-2)^2 - 2(3) - 4 + \left(\frac{\alpha + \beta}{\alpha \beta}\right)^2 - \frac{2}{3} \\ & = 4 - 6 - 4 + \frac{4}{9} - \frac{2}{3} = -\frac{56}{9} \\ B & = \left(\alpha - \frac{1}{\alpha} \right)^2 \left(\beta - \frac{1}{\beta} \right)^2 = \left(\alpha\beta - \frac{\alpha}{\beta} - \frac{\beta}{\alpha} + \frac{1}{\alpha \beta} \right)^2 = \left(3 - \frac{\alpha^2 + \beta^2} {\beta \alpha} + \frac{1}{3} \right)^2 \\ & = \left(3 - \frac{(-2)^2 - 2(3)} {3} + \frac{1}{3} \right)^2 = \left(3 + \frac{2} {3} + \frac{1}{3} \right)^2 = 4^2 = 16 \end{split} \end{equation} \)

\[\Rightarrow x^2 - Ax + B = 0 \\ x^2 + \dfrac{56}{9}x + 16 = 0 \\ \boxed{9x^2 + 56x + 16 = 0} \]

Log in to reply

what is the next two numbers for the series:

0,2,24......?Log in to reply

This question has infinite answers. I'd answer \(\pi^{100}, e^{200}\).

246 and 2468could be nice guesses, but we cannot state this is the absolute true answer.EDIT: Also, not related to Vieta's Formula.

Log in to reply

i think so answer to this question should be 246

Log in to reply

what is the next two numbersTushar, we'd have to find the next one (\(2468\)).

Log in to reply