Questions in which polynomials (single or several variables) play a key role. It is typically important that this tag is combined with other tags; polynomials appear in very different contexts. Please, use at least one of the top-level tags, such as nt.number-theory, co.combinatorics, ...

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246
votes
15answers
34k views

Why do roots of polynomials tend to have absolute value close to 1?

While playing around with Mathematica I noticed that most polynomials with real coefficients seem to have most complex zeroes very near the unit circle. For instance, if we plot all the roots of a ...
43
votes
6answers
3k views

How to recognise that the polynomial method might work

A couple of days ago I was at a nice seminar given by Christian Reiher, during which he told us about a short proof of the following special case of a theorem of Olson. Theorem. Let ...
34
votes
2answers
2k views

A question on maps from $\mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}$ to itself

Let $p\geq 3$ be a prime number, and let $u:\mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}\to \mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}$ be a map such that, for all $l\in \mathbb{Z}/p\mathbb{Z}$,$l\neq 0$, the map $k\mapsto u(k+l)-u(k)$ is a ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Riemann zeta function at positive integers and an Appell sequence of polynomials related to fractional calculus

I was exploring some raising and lowering operators related to an infinitesimal generator for fractional integro-derivatives and found an Appell sequence of polynomials, i.e., an infinite sequence of ...
2
votes
2answers
298 views

Can one estimate the distribution of eigenvalues of a matrix by its Cauchy/Stieltje transform?

Given a real symmetric $n$ dimensional matrix $A$, with eigenvalues $\lambda_i$ I am defining its Cauchy transform as the function, $f_A(z) = \sum_i \frac{1}{z-\lambda_i}\,$ Is there any information ...
13
votes
4answers
627 views

Finite interpolation by a nondecreasing polynomial

Let $x_1 < x_2 < \ldots < x_n$ and $y_1 < y_2 < \ldots < y_n$ be two sequences of $n$ real numbers. It is well known that there are polynomials that "interpolate" in that ...
36
votes
9answers
9k views

Irreducibility of polynomials in two variables

Let $k$ be a field. I am interested in sufficient criteria for $f \in k[x,y]$ to be irreducible. An example is Theorem A of this paper. Does anyone know of similar results in the same vein? How about ...
62
votes
6answers
3k views

Roots of truncations of e^x - 1

During a talk I was at today, the speaker mentioned that if you truncate the Taylor series for $e^x - 1$, you'll get lots of roots with nonzero real part, even though the full Taylor series only has ...
14
votes
5answers
9k views

Criteria to determine whether a real-coefficient polynomial has real root?

Given a polynomial equation $x^n+a_{n-1}x^{n-1}+\cdots+a_1x+a_0=0$, where $n$ is even and all the coefficients $a_i$ are real, what is the best way to determine whether it has a real root or not? I ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

Distribution of roots of complex polynomials

I generated random quadratic and cubic polynomials with coefficients in $\mathbb{C}$ uniformly distributed in the unit disk $|z| \le 1$. The distribution of the roots of 10000 of these polynomials are ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Cycling through the Zeta Garden: Zeta functions for graphs, cycle index polynomials, and determinants

Zeta functions abound in mathematics. Audrey Terras describes in Zeta Functions and Chaos three zeta functions--the zeta fct. of a projective non-singular algebraic variety; the Artin-Mazur zeta ...
23
votes
1answer
475 views

Hilbert's Theorem on $L_2$ norm of polynomials in $\mathbb{Z}[X]$ - Explicit construction and a converse?

Consider the set of polynomials with real coefficients as a vector space with the following inner-product: $\langle f, g \rangle = \int_{a}^{b} f(x)g(x) dx$. Hilbert showed, in a paper from 1894, ...
9
votes
1answer
782 views

About irreducible trinomials

This question was inspired by this one. For every $n>m>0$ consider the polynomial $p_{m,n}=x^n-x^m-1$. For which $m,n$ is $p_{m,n}$ irreducible over $\mathbb Q$? In particular, if $m$ is ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

A proof for a statement about polynomial automorphism

I already got a proof for the fact that if a polynomial map is surjective then it is also injective. However, I used the invariant dimension of a ring and I want a simpler proof. Bravo for any try. ...
7
votes
7answers
976 views

Old question of Serre on discriminants of a sequence of polynomials

Let $P_n(t)$ be polynomials with integer coefficients with $d_n = \deg(P_n(t))$ going to infinity when $n$ goes to infinity and with nonzero discriminants $disc(P_n(t)) \neq 0$. Question: Is $$ ...
6
votes
6answers
579 views

Getting a bound on the coefficients of the factor polynomial

Suppose $f(x):=a_0+a_1x+\cdots+a_nx^n$ is a polynomial in $\mathbb{Z}[x]$ and $|a_i|\leq M$ for each $i=0,\ldots ,n.$ Now suppose $g(x)$ is a factor of $f(x)$ in $\mathbb{Z}[x]$, then is it possible ...
4
votes
1answer
614 views

Why are all these families of polynomials finally log-concave?

This started when I was examining certain families of unimodal polynomials, i.e. $\sum_{k=0}^n a_kx^k$ where $a_0\le a_1\le\cdots \le a_k\ge\cdots \ge a_n$. (Notation: in the following, the $a_k$ ...
6
votes
2answers
972 views

When does a rational function have infinitely many integer values for integer inputs?

Consider rational functions $F(x)=P(x)/Q(x)$ with $P(x),Q(x) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$. I'd like to know when I can expect $F(k) \in \mathbb{Z}$ for infinitely many positive integers $k$. Of course this ...
5
votes
1answer
377 views

Is every polynomial a factor of a trinomial?

We say that $T(X) \in \mathbb{Q}[X]$ is a trinomial if there exist $A,B,C \in \mathbb{Q}$ such that $T(X) = AX^n + BX^m + C$ for some $n \geq m \in \mathbb{N}$. Is it true that for each ...
1
vote
0answers
326 views

When is a cubic polynomial a cube? [closed]

I've been researching cubes and I'm trying to solve this Diophantine equation over the integers. $$ax^3 + bx^2 + cx + d = y^3$$where a, b, c, d are parameters for a given $n$. For example, for $n = ...
65
votes
11answers
4k views

Can a non-surjective polynomial map from an infinite field to itself miss only finitely many points?

Is there an infinite field $k$ together with a polynomial $f \in k[x]$ such that the associated map $f \colon k \to k$ is not surjective but misses only finitely many elements in $k$ (i.e. only ...
41
votes
4answers
3k views

Degree of sum of algebraic numbers

This is an elementary question (coming from an undergraduate student) about algebraic numbers, to which I don't have a complete answer. Let $a$ and $b$ be algebraic numbers, with respective degrees ...
27
votes
12answers
4k views

What Are Some Naturally-Occurring High-Degree Polynomials?

To construct J. H. Conway's look-and-say sequence, begin by putting down a 1 as the first entry. The other entries are found by saying the previous entry aloud, and writing what you hear. ...
31
votes
1answer
3k views

Integers not represented by $ 2 x^2 + x y + 3 y^2 + z^3 - z $

EDIT, 9 March 2014: when I asked this in 2010, I did not have the courage of my convictions, and so did not ask for an if and only if proof, as Kevin Buzzard quite properly pointed out. Such problems ...
25
votes
7answers
2k views

When is a monic integer polynomial the characteristic polynomial of a non-negative integer matrix?

Suppose $P(x)$ is a monic integer polynomial with roots $r_1, ... r_n$ such that $p_k = r_1^k + ... + r_n^k$ is a non-negative integer for all positive integers $k$. Is $P(x)$ necessarily the ...
36
votes
4answers
2k views

The sum of squared logarithms conjecture

I am searching for the first proof of (or counterexample to) the following conjecture. (The sum of squared logarithms conjecture) For all natural numbers $n$ and positive numbers $x_1,x_2, \ldots , ...
28
votes
1answer
2k views

Zeros of polynomials with real positive coefficients

The following problem arose in collaborative work with Subhro Ghosh: Question: To any polynomial $P_n(z)=\sum_{i=0}^n a_i z^i =a_n \prod_{i=1}^n(z-z_i)$, attach the empirical measure of zeros ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

The resultant and the ideal generated by two polynomials in $\mathbb{Z}[x]$

I was asked the following question by a colleague and was embarrassed not to know the answer. Let $f(x), g(x) \in \mathbb{Z}[x]$ with no root in common. Let $I = (f(x),g(x))\cap \mathbb{Z}$, that is, ...
15
votes
1answer
898 views

Is $x^{n}-x-1$ irreducible?

Is it true that for every $n \in \mathbb{N}$, $x^{n}-x-1$ is irreducible in $\mathbb{Z}[x]$? The standard irreducibility criteria seem to fail.
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Using higher-order Bring radicals to solve arbitrary polynomials

It is well known that there is no general formula for the solution of the quintic. Of course, what this really means is that there is no general formula that only involves addition, subtraction, ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Expressing power sum symmetric polynomials in terms of lower degree power sums

Is there an explicit formula expressing the power sum symmetric polynomials $$p_k(x_1,\ldots,x_N)=\sum\nolimits_{i=1}^N x_i^k = x_1^k+\cdots+x_N^k$$ of degree $k$ in $N < k$ variables entirely ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Application of polynomials with non-negative coefficients

Question 1: Are there any deeper applications (in any field of mathematics) of polynomials (with possibly more than one variable) over the real numbers whose coefficients are non-negative? So far I ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

Relations between sums of powers

This question is so naive that it could have been asked before on this site. If so, I'll delete it. Among beautiful formula, I like a lot this one: $$\left(\sum_{n=1}^Nn\right)^2=\sum_{n=1}^Nn^3.$$ ...
21
votes
0answers
450 views

Finding a path through real rooted polynomials

This is a lemma I wanted in order to solve Patrizio Neff's conjecture. It turned out to be the wrong way to think about it, but I am still curious if it is true. Let $z^n+a_{n-1} z^{n-1} + \cdots + ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Truncated Exponential Series Modulo $p$: Deeper meaning for a Putnam Question.

Apparently B6 of the Putnam this year asked: Suppose $p$ is an odd prime. Prove that for $n\in \{0,1,2...p-1\}$, at least $\frac{p+1}{2}$ of the numbers $\sum^{p-1}_{k=0} k! n^{k}$ are not ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Conditions for smooth dependence of the eigenvalues and eigenvectors of a matrix on a set of parameters

Let $A\in\mathcal M_n$ be an $n\times n$ real [symmetric] matrix which depends smoothly on a [finite] set of parameters, $A=A(\xi_1,\ldots,\xi_k)$. We can view it as a smooth function $A:\mathbb ...
20
votes
4answers
1k views

Freeness of a Z[x]-module

Definition: Call a mapping $f: \mathbb{Z} \rightarrow \mathbb{Z}$ a generalized polynomial if for any distinct integers $m$ and $n$ we have $(m - n)|(f(m)-f(n))$. It is easy to check that polynomial ...
17
votes
2answers
559 views

Stability of real polynomials with positive coefficients

Say that a polynomial in an indeterminate $x$ with real coefficients of degree $d$ has positive coefficients if each of the coefficients of $x^d,\ldots,x^1,x^0$ is (strictly) positive. For $f$ a ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What's an example of a transcendental power series?

Let $k$ be a field. What is an explicit power series $f \in k[[t]]$ that is transcendental over $k[t]$? I am looking for elementary example (so there should be a proof of transcendence that does ...
11
votes
3answers
840 views

Probability of coprime polynomials

Given positive integer $N$, we choose $m_1, m_2, n_1, n_2$ independently and with equal probabilities from $\{0,1,\ldots,N\}$, and let $f_1 = x^{m_1} + (1+x)^{n_1}$ and $f_2 = x^{m_2} + (1+x)^{n_2}$ ...
11
votes
2answers
459 views

Which polynomials arise as formulas for a conjugate

For any integer $r \geq 2$, et $V_r$ be the set of polynomials $Q \in {\mathbb Q}[X]$ of degree $r-1$ such that there is an algebraic number $\alpha$ of degree $r$ , such that $Q(\alpha)$ is a ...
10
votes
1answer
674 views

The closures in $C^0(\mathbb{R}, \mathbb{R})$ of the set of integer valued polynomials, resp, of polynomials with integer coefficients

This is a follow up of an interesting recent question on the topic. The answer given there by fedia shows that the matter is rich and complicated, and I can't resist to submit here a further question. ...
9
votes
3answers
458 views

Product of a Finite Number of Matrices Related to Roots of Unity

Does anyone have an idea how to prove the following identity? $$ \mathop{\mathrm{Tr}}\left(\prod_{j=0}^{n-1}\begin{pmatrix} x^{-2j} & -x^{2j+1} \\ 1 & 0 \end{pmatrix}\right)= \begin{cases} ...
6
votes
0answers
370 views

“Consecutive” irreducible polynomials

If $P\in {\mathbb Z}[X]$ is a polynomial of degree $2$, then it is easy to see that for any integer $m$, at least one of the polynomials $P-(m+1),P-(m+2),P-(m+3),P-(m+4)$ is irreducible in ${\mathbb ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Minimizing the modulus of a polynomial around a circle

I'm probably missing something elementary here, but I guess the only way to be sure is to ask here. Now, I have encountered a situation where given an nth-degree polynomial $p_n(z)$ with complex ...
12
votes
2answers
449 views

Number of nonzero terms in polynomial expansion (lower bounds)

Let $f(x) = a_1x^{z_1} + a_2x^{z_2} + \cdots + a_kx^{z_k}$ be a polynomial with coefficients $(a_1, \ldots, a_k) \in \mathbb{F}_q^*$ and $z_i$ are distinct positive integers. If I need to compute the ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Giant Rat of Sumatra singularity

I would be grateful for explanations of the issues raised in any of these three questions, or pointers to the relevant literature (now updated with answers): How did a particular singularity come ...
7
votes
1answer
660 views

Can roots of any polynomial be expressed using Eulerian function?

I encountered an interesting function which is called "Eulerian" by the Wolfram's MathWorld: $$\phi(q)=\prod_{k=1}^{\infty} (1-q^{k})$$ It is interesting because it is claimed that roots of any ...
6
votes
2answers
621 views

Counterexample to Proposition of Granville related to abc conjecture

Looks like there is counterexample to Proposition related to abc conjecture. Confusion is likely. From RATIONAL AND INTEGRAL POINTS ON QUADRATIC TWISTS OF A GIVEN HYPERELLIPTIC CURVE, Andrew ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Maximal ideals in a polynomial ring over the real numbers.

Let $\mathbf{R}$ be the field of real numbers. What are the generators of the maximal ideals of the polynomial ring $\mathbf{R}[x_1, ... , x_n]$? If instead of $\mathbf{R}$ one considers the field ...