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Least Common Multiple of Algebraic Expressions

Least Common Multiple of Algebraic Expressions

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Published by Matthew
Finding the LCM (Lease Common Multiple) for algebraic expressions (polynomials). The technique is based on one of the techniques I use for find the LCM of numbers. See my other notes on LCM.
Finding the LCM (Lease Common Multiple) for algebraic expressions (polynomials). The technique is based on one of the techniques I use for find the LCM of numbers. See my other notes on LCM.

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Published by: Matthew on Mar 27, 2009
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10/28/2015

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Least Common Multiple (LCM) with Polynomials

Example 1: Find the LCM of x
3
+ 5x
2
+ 6x and 2x
3
+ 4x
2
Factor each expression (See Factoring Section):
x
3
+ 5x
2
+ 6x →x(x + 2)(x + 3)
2x
3
+ 4x
2
→2x
2
(x + 2)
x ( x +2) ( x +3) 2x ( x + 2)
2
x + 2
x( x + 3) 2 x
2
x
x + 3
2 x
∴ LCM(x
3
+ 5x
2
+ 6x, 2x
3
+ 4x
2
) = x(x + 2)(x + 3)(2x)
Example 2: Find the LCM of x
2
−3x + 2, x
2
−5x + 6, and x
2
−7x + 12
Factor each expression (See Factoring Section):
x
2
−3x + 2 →(x −2)(x −1)
x
2
−5x + 6 →(x −3)(x −2)
x
2
−7x + 12 →(x −3)(x −4)
( x- 2) ( x- 1) ( x- 3) ( x- 2) ( x- 3) ( x- 4) x - 2
x - 1 x - 3 ( x- 3) ( x- 4)
x - 1 1 x - 4
x - 3
∴ LCM(x
2
−3x + 2, x
2
−5x + 6, x
2
−7x + 12) = (x −2)(x −3)(x −1)(x −4)
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