related topics
{math, number, function}
{language, word, form}
{school, student, university}
{math, energy, light}
{food, make, wine}
{rate, high, increase}

In mathematics, a polynomial is an expression of finite length constructed from variables (also known as indeterminates) and constants, using only the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and non-negative integer exponents. For example, x2 − 4x + 7 is a polynomial, but x2 − 4/x + 7x3/2 is not, because its second term involves division by the variable x (4/x) and because its third term contains an exponent that is not a whole number (3/2). The term 'polynomial' indicates a simplified algebraic form such that all polynomials are similarly simple in complexity (cf. polynomial time).

Polynomials appear in a wide variety of areas of mathematics and science. For example, they are used to form polynomial equations, which encode a wide range of problems, from elementary word problems to complicated problems in the sciences; they are used to define polynomial functions, which appear in settings ranging from basic chemistry and physics to economics and social science; they are used in calculus and numerical analysis to approximate other functions. In advanced mathematics, polynomials are used to construct polynomial rings, a central concept in abstract algebra and algebraic geometry.


Full article ▸

related documents
Discrete Fourier transform
Clifford algebra
Floating point
Generic programming
Ordinal number
Group (mathematics)
Vienna Development Method
Regular expression
Common Lisp
Eiffel (programming language)
Surreal number
Prime number
Emmy Noether
Euclidean vector
Singular value decomposition
Radix sort
Mathematical logic
Complex number
Natural deduction
Lisp (programming language)
Propositional calculus
C (programming language)
Fourier transform
History of mathematics