20
L3
§1.4 Factoring
Factoring
– the process of finding polynomials whose
product is equal to a given polynomial.
A polynomial is considered to be
factored completely
if
it is written as a product of
prime
or
irreducible
polynomials.
Factoring out the
GCF
(
Greatest Common Factor
):
Use the distributive property to factor out the GCF.
The GCF is the product of the largest common factor
of all numbers and all common factors containing
variables, each with the smallest exponent
that appears
on that factor.
Example
. Factor out the GCF from each polynomial:
a)
5
3
9
8
6
x y
xy
+
b)
2
3
2
5
(
2)
(
2)
x
x
x x
−
+
−