Which Polynomial Function Has a Leading Coefficient of 1
Which Polynomial Function Has a Leading Coefficient of 1.
Contents
 1 3.iv: Graphs of Polynomial Functions
 2 Recognizing Characteristics of Graphs of Polynomial Functions
 3 Using Factoring to Find Zeros of Polynomial Functions
 4 Identifying Zeros and Their Multiplicities
 5 Determining Cease Behavior
 6 Agreement the Human relationship betwixt Degree and Turning Points
 7 Graphing Polynomial Functions
 8 Using the Intermediate Value Theorem
 9 Writing Formulas for Polynomial Functions
 10 Using Local and Global Extrema
 11 Cardinal Concepts
 12 Glossary
 13 Which Polynomial Function Has a Leading Coefficient of 1
3.iv: Graphs of Polynomial Functions
 Page ID
 17635
Skills to Develop
 Recognize characteristics of graphs of polynomial functions.
 Use factoring to ﬁnd zeros of polynomial functions.
 Identify zeros and their multiplicities.
 Make up one’s mind finish beliefs.
 Empathise the human relationship between degree and turning points.
 Graph polynomial functions.
 Use the Intermediate Value Theorem.
The revenue in millions of dollars for a fictional cable company from 2006 through 2013 is shown in Table \(\PageIndex{1}\).
Year  2006  2007  2008  2009  2010  2011  2012  2013 

Revenues  52.4  52.8  51.2  49.5  48.6  48.vi  48.7  47.1 
The revenue can be modeled past the polynomial function
\[R(t)=−0.037t^iv+one.414t^3−19.777t^2+118.696t−205.332\]
where \(R\) represents the revenue in millions of dollars and \(t\) represents the twelvemonth, with \(t=6\)corresponding to 2006. Over which intervals is the revenue for the company increasing? Over which intervals is the revenue for the company decreasing? These questions, along with many others, tin can be answered by examining the graph of the polynomial function. We accept already explored the local beliefs of quadratics, a special instance of polynomials. In this section nosotros will explore the local beliefs of polynomials in general.
Recognizing Characteristics of Graphs of Polynomial Functions
Polynomial functions of degree 2 or more take graphs that do not have abrupt corners; retrieve that these types of graphs are called smoothen curves. Polynomial functions also display graphs that have no breaks. Curves with no breaks are chosen continuous. Effigy \(\PageIndex{i}\) shows a graph that represents a
polynomial function
and a graph that represents a office that is not a polynomial.
Figure \(\PageIndex{one}\)
Instance \(\PageIndex{1}\): Recognizing Polynomial Functions
Which of the graphs in Figure \(\PageIndex{ii}\) represents a polynomial function?
Figure \(\PageIndex{2}\)
Solution
The graphs of \(f\) and \(h\) are graphs of polynomial functions. They are smooth and
continuous.
The graphs of \(g\) and \(chiliad\) are graphs of functions that are not polynomials. The graph of function \(g\) has a sharp corner. The graph of function \(k\) is non continuous.
Practice all polynomial functions take as their domain all real numbers?
Aye. Any real number is a valid input for a polynomial function.
Using Factoring to Find Zeros of Polynomial Functions
Recall that if \(f\) is a polynomial function, the values of \(x\) for which \(f(10)=0\) are called
zeros
of \(f\).
If the equation of the polynomial function can be factored, we can set each gene equal to nothing and solve for the zeros. (Also, whatsoever value \(ten=a\) that is a zero of a polynomial office yields a gene of the polynomial, of the form \(10a)\).(
Nosotros can utilise this method to find tenintercepts because at the xintercepts nosotros find the input values when the output value is nada. For general polynomials, this can be a challenging prospect. While quadratics can be solved using the relatively uncomplicated quadratic formula, the corresponding formulas for cubic and fourthdegree polynomials are not simple enough to call up, and formulas do not exist for general higherdegree polynomials. Consequently, we will limit ourselves to three cases in this section:
The polynomial tin be factored using known methods: greatest mutual factor, factor past grouping, and trinomial factoring.
The polynomial is given in factored form.
Engineering is used to determine the intercepts.
Given a polynomial part \(f\), find the xintercepts by factoring.
 Set \(f(x)=0\).
 If the polynomial function is not given in factored form:
a. Cistron out any common monomial factors.
b.Factor any factorable binomials or trinomials.
 Gear up each factor equal to nothing and solve to find the xintercepts.
Example \(\PageIndex{2}\): Finding the tenIntercepts of a Polynomial Function past Factoring
Find the tenintercepts of \(f(ten)=x^vi−3x^4+2x^2\).
Solution
We tin attempt to factor this polynomial to find solutions for \(f(x)=0\).
\[\begin{marshal} ten^6−3x^4+2x^ii&=0 & &\text{Factor out the greatest common gene.} \\ x^ii(ten^4−3x^2+2)&=0 & &\text{Factor the trinomial, which is in quadratic class.} \\ x^ii(ten^ii−1)(ten^2−2)&=0 & &\text{Ready each factor equal to zero.} \end{marshal}\]
\[\begin{marshal} x^two&=0 & & & (x^2−1)&=0 & & & (ten^2−2)&=0 \\ x^two&=0 & &\text{ or } & x^2&=ane & &\text{ or } & 10^2&=2 \\ x&=0 &&& ten&={\pm}1 &&& 10&={\pm}\sqrt{2} \end{align}\] .
This gives united states of america five 10intercepts: \((0,0)\), \((1,0)\), \((−i,0)\), \((\sqrt{ii},0)\),and \((−\sqrt{2},0)\).
See Figure \(\PageIndex{iii}\). We can see that this is an even function. To ostend algebraically, we take
\[\begin{align} f(x) =& (10)^6three(x)^4+2(x)^two\\ =& x^vi3x^4+2x^2\\ =& f(10). \end{marshal}\]
Effigy \(\PageIndex{3}\).
Example \(\PageIndex{3}\): Finding the xIntercepts of a Polynomial Function by Factoring
Find the 10intercepts of \(f(x)=x^3−5x^ii−10+five\).
Solution
Find solutions for \(f(x)=0\) by factoring.
\[\begin{align} x^three−5x^2−x+5&=0 &\text{Gene past grouping.} \\ x^2(x−v)−(10−5)&=0 &\text{Factor out the common factor.} \\ (x^2−1)(10−five)&=0 &\text{Cistron the difference of squares.} \\ (x+1)(x−1)(ten−five)&=0 &\text{Ready each gene equal to zero.} \end{align}\]
\[\begin{align} x+1&=0 & &\text{or} & x−i&=0 & &\text{or} & x−5&=0 \\ ten&=−1 &&& x&=one &&& x&=5\stop{align}\]
There are three tenintercepts: \((−1,0)\), \((1,0)\), and \((5,0)\). See Effigy \(\PageIndex{4}\).
Figure \(\PageIndex{iv}\):
Graph of \(f(x)\).
Example \(\PageIndex{4}\): Finding the y and xIntercepts of a Polynomial in Factored Form
Find the y and 10intercepts of \(chiliad(ten)=(10−2)^2(2x+3)\).
Solution
The yintercept tin be found by evaluating \(g(0)\).
\[\begin{align} g(0)&=(0−ii)^two(two(0)+3) \\ &=12 \end{align}\]
And then the yintercept is \((0,12)\).
The 10intercepts tin be found by solving \(yard(ten)=0\).
\[(ten−2)^2(2x+3)=0\]
\[\begin{align} (10−2)^2&=0 & & & (2x+three)&=0 \\ 10−2&=0 & &\text{or} & x&=−\dfrac{three}{ii} \\ ten&=2 \end{align}\]
So the xintercepts are \((2,0)\) and \(\Large(−\dfrac{three}{2},0\Big)\).
Analysis
We can always cheque that our answers are reasonable by using a graphing utility to graph the polynomial as shown in Figure \(\PageIndex{5}\).
Effigy \(\PageIndex{five}\):
Graph of \(chiliad(10)\).
Instance \(\PageIndex{5}\): Finding the xIntercepts of a Polynomial Function Using a Graph
Find the xintercepts of \(h(x)=10^iii+4x^ii+10−vi\).
Solution
This polynomial is not in factored form, has no common factors, and does not announced to be factorable using techniques previously discussed. Fortunately, nosotros tin can apply technology to discover the intercepts. Go along in mind that some values brand graphing difficult past hand. In these cases, we tin can accept advantage of graphing utilities.
Looking at the graph of this function, every bit shown in Effigy \(\PageIndex{6}\), it appears that there are xintercepts at \(x=−three,−2, \text{ and }1\).
Effigy \(\PageIndex{6}\):
Graph of \(h(x)\).
Nosotros can check whether these are correct by substituting these values for \(10\) and verifying that
\[h(−3)=h(−2)=h(1)=0.\]
Since \(h(10)=x^3+4x^2+x−vi\), we have:
\[h(−3)=(−3)^iii+four(−3)^two+(−3)−6=−27+36−3−six=0 \\ h(−2)=(−2)^iii+4(−two)^two+(−2)−6=−eight+sixteen−two−6=0 \\ h(1)=(1)^3+four(1)^ii+(one)−6=1+4+one−half dozen=0\]
Each xintercept corresponds to a zero of the polynomial function and each zip yields a gene, and then nosotros can now write the polynomial in factored class.
\[\begin{align} h(ten)&=x^3+4x^two+x−6 \\ &=(ten+3)(10+2)(10−one) \stop{align}\]
\(\PageIndex{1}\)
Use a graphing utility (like Desmos) to observe the yand tenintercepts of the function \(f(x)=ten^4−19x^2+30x\).
 Reply

 yintercept \((0,0)\);
 xintercepts \((0,0)\), \((–v,0)\), \((two,0)\), and \((iii,0)\)
Identifying Zeros and Their Multiplicities
Graphs behave differently at various xintercepts. Sometimes, the graph volition cross over the horizontal axis at an intercept. Other times, the graph will touch the horizontal axis and bounce off. Suppose, for example, we graph the function
\[f(10)=(10+3)(x−ii)^ii(ten+1)^3.\]
Notice in Figure \(\PageIndex{7}\) that the behavior of the function at each of the xintercepts is different.
Effigy \(\PageIndex{7}\):
Identifying the behavior of the graph at an 10intercept by examining the multiplicity of the nil.
The xintercept −3 is the solution of equation \((x+3)=0\). The graph passes directly through thexintercept at \(x=−3\). The factor is linear (has a degree of 1), then the beliefs near the intercept is similar that of a line—it passes direct through the intercept. We call this a single null because the zero corresponds to a unmarried factor of the function.
The 10intercept 2 is the repeated solution of equation \((x−2)^ii=0\). The graph touches the axis at the intercept and changes direction. The factor is quadratic (degree 2), so the beliefs nigh the intercept is like that of a quadratic—it bounces off of the horizontal axis at the intercept.
\[(x−2)^2=(x−2)(x−2)\]
The factor is repeated, that is, the factor \((x−2)\) appears twice. The number of times a given factor appears in the factored form of the equation of a polynomial is called the
multiplicity. The zippo associated with this factor, \(x=2\), has multiplicity 2 because the factor \((x−2)\) occurs twice.
The xintercept −1 is the repeated solution of factor \((x+one)^three=0\).The graph passes through the axis at the intercept, merely flattens out a bit getgo. This cistron is cubic (degree 3), and so the behavior nigh the intercept is similar that of a cubic—with the same Sshape nigh the intercept as the toolkit office \(f(x)=x^3\). We call this a triple zero, or a zero with multiplicity 3.
For
zeros
with even multiplicities, the graphs bear on or are tangent to the tenaxis. For zeros with odd multiplicities, the graphs cantankerous or intersect the 10axis. Run across Figure \(\PageIndex{8}\) for examples of graphs of polynomial functions with multiplicity \(p=1, p=2\), and \(p=three\).
Figure \(\PageIndex{8}\):
Three graphs showing three unlike polynomial functions with multiplicity 1, 2, and 3.
For higher even powers, such as 4, 6, and viii, the graph will notwithstanding touch and bounciness off of the horizontal axis but, for each increasing even power, the graph will appear flatter as information technology approaches and leaves the xaxis.
For higher odd powers, such as 5, seven, and 9, the graph will notwithstanding cross through the horizontal centrality, but for each increasing odd power, the graph volition appear flatter every bit it approaches and leaves the 10axis.
Graphical Behavior of Polynomials at xIntercepts
If a polynomial contains a factor of the class \((x−h)^p\), the behavior near the xintercept \(h\) is determined by the power \(p\). We say that \(x=h\) is a cypher of
multiplicity
\(p\).
The graph of a polynomial office volition bear upon the xaxis at zeros with even multiplicities. The graph will cross the tenaxis at zeros with odd multiplicities.
The sum of the multiplicities is no greater than the caste of the polynomial function.
Given a graph of a polynomial office of degree \(due north\),
identify the zeros and their multiplicities.
 If the graph crosses the tenaxis and appears nigh linear at the intercept, information technology is a unmarried zero.
 If the graph touches the xcentrality and bounces off of the axis, information technology is a zippo with fiftyfifty multiplicity.
 If the graph crosses the xaxis at a zippo, it is a zero with odd multiplicity.
 The sum of the multiplicities is no greater than \(n\).
Instance \(\PageIndex{6}\): Identifying Zeros and Their Multiplicities
Utilise the graph of the role of caste 6 in Figure \(\PageIndex{9}\) to place the zeros of the function and their possible multiplicities.
Figure \(\PageIndex{9}\):
Graph of a polynomial role with degree 6.
Solution
The polynomial function is of degree \(half dozen\). The sum of the multiplicities cannot be greater than \(half dozen\).
Starting from the left, the start naught occurs at \(x=−3\). The graph touches the xaxis, and then the multiplicity of the cipher must be even. The zero of \(x=−3\) has multiplicity ii or 4. It cannot take multiplicity half dozen since in that location are other zeros.
The side by side zero occurs at \(x=−1\). The graph looks almost linear at this point. This is probably a single zero of multiplicity 1.
The terminal zero occurs at \(10=four\).The graph crosses the xaxis, so the multiplicity of the nothing must be odd, but is probably not ane since the graph does not seem to cantankerous in a linear fashion. The multiplicity is probably 3, which means the multiplicity of \(x=3\) must be two, and that the sum of the multiplicities is 6.
\(\PageIndex{2}\)
Use the graph of the function of degree 5 in Effigy \(\PageIndex{10}\) to identify the zeros of the function and their multiplicities.
Figure \(\PageIndex{10}\):
Graph of a polynomial function with degree 5.
 Reply

The graph has a zero of –5 with multiplicity i, a zippo of –1 with multiplicity 2, and a zero of three with multiplicity two.
Determining Cease Behavior
As we have already learned, the behavior of a graph of a polynomial role of the grade
\[f(10)=a_nx^n+a_{due north−1}ten^{due north−1}+…+a_1x+a_0\]
will either ultimately ascension or fall as \(ten\) increases without bound and will either ascension or autumn as \(x\) decreases without bound. This is because for very big inputs, say 100 or 1,000, the leading term dominates the size of the output. The same is true for very small inputs, say –100 or –i,000.
Recall that we call this behavior the terminate behavior of a office. Every bit nosotros pointed out when discussing quadratic equations, when the leading term of a polynomial function, \(a_nx^n\), is an fiftyfifty power function and \(a_n>0\), every bit \(ten\) increases or decreases without jump, \(f(x)\) increases without bound. When the leading term is an odd power function, as \(x\) decreases without bound, \(f(ten)\) also decreases without bound; as \(x\) increases without bound, \(f(10)\) also increases without bound. If the leading term is negative, it volition alter the direction of the end behavior. Effigy \(\PageIndex{11}\) summarizes all 4 cases.
Effigy \(\PageIndex{eleven}\).
Agreement the Human relationship betwixt Degree and Turning Points
In addon to the end behavior, recall that we can analyze a polynomial office’s local behavior. It may have a turning point where the graph changes from increasing to decreasing (rise to falling) or decreasing to increasing (falling to ascent). Wait at the graph of the polynomial function \(f(x)=x^iv−ten^iii−4x^2+4x\) in Figure \(\PageIndex{12}\). The graph has 3 turning points.
Effigy \(\PageIndex{12}\):
Graph of \(f(x)=10^4x^34x^2+4x\)
This office \(f\) is a 4th degree polynomial function and has iii turning points. The maximum number of turning points of a polynomial role is e’er i less than the degree of the function.
Interpreting Turning Points
A turning indicate is a point of the graph where the graph changes from increasing to decreasing (ascent to falling) or decreasing to increasing (falling to rising). A polynomial of degree \(n\) will have at most \(n−ane\) turning points.
Example \(\PageIndex{vii}\): Finding the Maximum possible Number of Turning Points Using the Caste of a Polynomial Function
Find the maximum possible number of turning points of each polynomial function.
 \(f(x)=−x^three+4x^v−3x^2+one\)
 \(f(x)=−(x−1)^2(1+2x^2)\)
Solution
a. \(f(10)=−10^three+4x^5−3x^two+1\)
Commencement, rewrite the polynomial function in descending order: \(f(x)=4x^5−ten^3−3x^ii+1\)
Identify the degree of the polynomial function. This polynomial part is of degree 5.
The maximum possible number of turning points is \(\; 5−1=4\).
b. \(f(x)=−(ten−i)^2(i+2x^2)\)
First, identify the leading term of the polynomial role if the office were expanded.
Then, identify the degree of the polynomial function. This polynomial function is of degree 4.
The maximum possible number of turning points is \(\; 4−1=3\).
Graphing Polynomial Functions
Nosotros tin can utilize what we accept learned about multiplicities, finish behavior, and turning points to sketch graphs of polynomial functions. Let us put this all together and await at the steps required to graph polynomial functions.
Given a polynomial function, sketch the graph.
 Detect the intercepts, if possible.
 Check for symmetry. If the function is an even role, its graph is symmetrical almost the yaxis, that is, \(f(−10)=f(x)\). If a function is an odd function, its graph is symmetrical nearly the origin, that is, \(f(−x)=−f(x)\).
 Apply the multiplicities of the zeros to determine the beliefs of the polynomial at the xintercepts.
 Determine the end behavior by examining the leading term.
 Employ the end behavior and the behavior at the intercepts to sketch a graph.
 Ensure that the number of turning points does not exceed one less than the degree of the polynomial.
 Optionally, use technology to cheque the graph.
Example \(\PageIndex{8}\): Sketching the Graph of a Polynomial Function
Sketch a graph of \(f(x)=−2(ten+iii)^two(x−5)\).
Solution
This graph has two xintercepts. At \(x=−3\), the factor is squared, indicating a multiplicity of 2. The graph will bounciness at this xintercept. At \(ten=5\),the function has a multiplicity of one, indicating the graph will cross through the axis at this intercept.
The yintercept is found past evaluating \(f(0)\).
\[\begin{align} f(0)&=−two(0+3)^2(0−5) \\ &=−2⋅nine⋅(−5) \\ &=xc \end{align}\]
The yintercept is \((0,xc)\).
Additionally, we can run into the leading term, if this polynomial were multiplied out, would exist \(−2×3\), so the end behavior is that of a vertically reflected cubic, with the outputs decreasing equally the inputs approach infinity, and the outputs increasing equally the inputs approach negative infinity. See Figure \(\PageIndex{13}\).
Figure \(\PageIndex{13}\):
Showing the distribution for the leading term.
To sketch this, we consider that:
 As \(x{\rightarrow}−{\infty}\) the function \(f(10){\rightarrow}{\infty}\),and then nosotros know the graph starts in the 2d quadrant and is decreasing toward the tencentrality.
 Since \(f(−10)=−2(−x+3)^ii(−x–5)\) is non equal to \(f(10)\), the graph does not brandish symmetry.
 At \((−3,0)\), the graph bounces off of thexaxis, so the function must start increasing.
 At \((0,xc)\), the graph crosses the yaxis at the yintercept. Run across Figure \(\PageIndex{fourteen}\).
Figure \(\PageIndex{14}\):
Graph of the stop beliefs and intercepts, \((three, 0)\) and \((0, xc)\), for the function \(f(x)=2(x+iii)^2(x5)\).
Somewhere earlier or after this point, the graph must turn back down or start decreasing toward the horizontal axis because the graph passes through the side by side intercept at \((five,0)\). See Figure \(\PageIndex{xv}\).
Effigy \(\PageIndex{15}\):
Graph of the end behavior and intercepts, \((3, 0)\), \((0, ninety)\) and \((5, 0)\), for the function \(f(x)=2(x+3)^ii(x5)\).
As \(ten{\rightarrow}{\infty}\) the function \(f(ten){\rightarrow}−{\infty}\),
then we know the graph continues to decrease, and we tin terminate drawing the graph in the fourth quadrant.
Using applied science, we tin create the graph for the polynomial function, shown in Effigy \(\PageIndex{16}\), and verify that the resulting graph looks similar our sketch in Figure \(\PageIndex{15}\).
Effigy \(\PageIndex{16}\):
The complete graph of the polynomial function \(f(x)=−ii(x+3)^2(ten−5)\).
\(\PageIndex{three}\):
Sketch a graph of \(f(x)=\dfrac{1}{6}(xone)^three(10+2)(x+3)\).
 Answer

Effigy \(\PageIndex{17}\):
Graph of \(f(ten)=\frac{ane}{half dozen}(x−1)^iii(x+ii)(x+3)\)
Using the Intermediate Value Theorem
In some situations, we may know two points on a graph but not the zeros. If those two points are on opposite sides of the xaxis, we can confirm that at that place is a zero between them. Consider a polynomial function \(f\) whose graph is smooth and continuous. The
Intermediate Value Theorem
states that for ii numbers \(a\) and \(b\) in the domain of \(f\), if \(a<b\) and \(f(a) \neq f(b)\),and so the function \(f\) takes on every value betwixt \(f(a)\) and \(f(b)\). We can utilize this theorem to a special case that is useful in graphing polynomial functions. If a point on the graph of a continuous role \(f\) at \(x=a\) lies above the 10axis and another point at \(10=b\) lies below the xcentrality, in that location must be a third point between \(ten=a\) and \(x=b\) where the graph crosses the xaxis. Call this betoken \((c,f(c))\).This means that we are bodacious in that location is a solution \(c\) where \(f(c)=0\).
In other words, the
Intermediate Value Theorem
tells u.s.a. that when a polynomial part changes from a negative value to a positive value, the function must cross the xcentrality. Figure \(\PageIndex{18}\) shows that there is a zilch betwixt \(a\) and \(b\).
Figure \(\PageIndex{xviii}\):
Using the Intermediate Value Theorem to show in that location exists a nil.
Intermediate Value Theorem
Let \(f\) be a polynomial office. The
Intermediate Value Theorem
states that if \(f(a)\) and \(f(b)\) have opposite signs, then there exists at to the lowest degree one value \(c\) betwixt \(a\) and \(b\) for which \(f(c)=0\).
Example \(\PageIndex{9}\): Using the Intermediate Value Theorem
Show that the function \(f(x)=x^three−5x^2+3x+6\) has at least two real zeros between \(x=1\) and \(x=4\).
Solution
As a beginning, evaluate \(f(x)\) at the integer values \(10=ane,\;two,\;iii,\; \text{and }4\).
Meet Table \(\PageIndex{2}\).
Table \(\PageIndex{2}\)
\(ten\)  1  2  three  4 

\(f(x)\)  5  0  three  2 
We meet that i zippo occurs at \(x=2\). Also, since \(f(3)\) is negative and \(f(four)\) is positive, by the Intermediate Value Theorem, there must be at to the lowest degree 1 real cipher between 3 and iv.
Nosotros have shown that there are at least two real zeros between \(x=1\) and \(x=four\).
Analysis
We can also meet on the graph of the function in Figure \(\PageIndex{19}\) that at that place are ii real zeros betwixt \(x=1\) and \(ten=4\).
Figure \(\PageIndex{19}\).
\(\PageIndex{four}\):
Show that the office \(f(x)=7x^v−9x^4−x^2\) has at least one real cypher between \(x=one\) and \(ten=2\).
 Answer

Considering \(f\) is a polynomial part and since \(f(ane)\) is negative and \(f(2)\) is positive, there is at least one real nil between \(ten=1\) and \(x=2\).
Writing Formulas for Polynomial Functions
Now that we know how to notice zeros of polynomial functions, we tin can use them to write formulas based on graphs. Because a
polynomial role
written in factored form will have an xintercept where each factor is equal to zero, we tin can grade a function that volition pass through a set of xintercepts past introducing a respective prepare of factors.
Factored Form of Polynomials
The polynomial of lowest degree \(p\) that has horizontal intercepts at \(x=x_1,x_2,…,x_n\) can exist written in the factored class: \(f(x)=a(x−x_1)^{p_1}(ten−x_2)^{p_2}⋯(ten−x_n)^{p_n}\) where the powers \(p_i\) on each factor can be determined by the behavior of the graph at the corresponding intercept, and the stretch cistron \(a\) tin can be determined given a value of the function other than an xintercept.
Given a graph of a polynomial function, write a possible formula for the function.
 Place the 10intercepts of the graph to find the factors of the polynomial.
 Examine the behavior of the graph at the tenintercepts to make up one’s mind the multiplicity of each cistron.
 Find the polynomial of least degree containing all the factors constitute in the previous step.
 Use any other indicate on the graph (the yintercept may be easiest) to determine the stretch factor.
Example \(\PageIndex{ten}\): Writing a Formula for a Polynomial Office from the Graph
Write a formula for the polynomial office shown in Figure \(\PageIndex{20}\).
Figure \(\PageIndex{20}\).
Solution
This graph has three xintercepts: \(10=−iii,\;2,\text{ and }v\) and 3 turning points. The yintercept is located at \((0,ii)\). At \(10=−iii\) and \( ten=v\), the graph passes through the axis linearly, suggesting the respective factors of the polynomial will exist linear. At \(x=2\), the graph bounces at the intercept, suggesting the corresponding factor of the polynomial could be second degree (quadratic). Thus, this is the graph of a polynomial of degree at least 5. Together, this gives us the possibility that
\[f(x)=a(x+3)(ten−two)^2(ten−5)\]
To determine the stretch cistron, we utilize another point on the graph. We will utilise the yintercept \((0,–ii)\), to solve for \(a\).
\[\begin{align} f(0)&=a(0+3)(0−2)^ii(0−5) \\ −ii&=a(0+three)(0−2)^2(0−5) \\ −ii&=−60a \\ a&=\dfrac{i}{30} \end{marshal}\]
The graphed polynomial appears to represent the function \(f(x)=\dfrac{1}{thirty}(x+3)(x−2)^2(10−5)\).
\(\PageIndex{5}\):
Given the graph shown in Figure \(\PageIndex{21}\), write a formula for the function shown.
Figure \(\PageIndex{21}\).
 Answer

\(f(x)=−\frac{1}{8}(x−2)^3(x+1)^2(x−4)\)
Using Local and Global Extrema
With quadratics, we were able to algebraically find the maximum or minimum value of the part by finding the vertex. For general polynomials, finding these turning points is not possible without more avantgarde techniques from calculus. Even then, finding where extrema occur can withal be algebraically challenging. For now, we will estimate the locations of turning points using technology to generate a graph.
Each turning point represents a local minimum or maximum. Sometimes, a turning indicate is the highest or lowest point on the entire graph. In these cases, we say that the turning point is a
global maximum
or a
global minimum. These are also referred to as the absolute maximum and absolute minimum values of the office.
Local and Global Extrema
A
local maximum
or
local minimum
at \(x=a\) (sometimes chosen the relative maximum or minimum, respectively) is the output at the highest or lowest signal on the graph in an open interval around \(x=a\).If a part has a local maximum at \(a\), and so \(f(a){\geq}f(10)\)for all \(10\) in an open interval around \(10=a\). If a function has a local minimum at \(a\), so \(f(a){\leq}f(x)\)for all \(x\) in an open interval around \(10=a\).
A
global maximum
or
global minimum
is the output at the highest or everyman point of the part. If a function has a global maximum at \(a\), then \(f(a){\geq}f(10)\) for all \(x\). If a function has a global minimum at \(a\), then \(f(a){\leq}f(10)\) for all \(x\).
Nosotros can see the difference betwixt local and global extrema in Figure \(\PageIndex{22}\).
Effigy \(\PageIndex{22}\):
Graph of an fiftyfiftycaste polynomial that denotes the local maximum and minimum and the global maximum.
Do all polynomial functions have a global minimum or maximum?
No. Only polynomial functions of even degree take a global minimum or maximum. For example, \(f(x)=ten\) has neither a global maximum nor a global minimum.
Example \(\PageIndex{xi}\): Using Local Extrema to Solve Applications
An open upheight box is to be constructed by cutting out squares from each corner of a 14 cm by 20 cm sheet of plastic then folding up the sides. Find the size of squares that should be cut out to maximize the volume enclosed past the box.
Solution
We will start this problem by cartoon a film like that in Figure \(\PageIndex{23}\), labeling the width of the cutout squares with a variable,w.
Effigy \(\PageIndex{23}\):
Diagram of a rectangle with four squares at the corners.
Notice that later a square is cutting out from each end, information technology leaves a \((14−2w)\) cm by \((20−2w)\) cm rectangle for the base of the box, and the box will be \(w\) cm tall. This gives the volume
\[\begin{align} V(w)&=(20−2w)(14−2w)w \\ &=280w−68w^2+4w^three \end{marshal}\]
Notice, since the factors are \(w\), \(20–2w\) and \(14–2w\), the iii zeros are \(x=x, 7\), and \(0\), respectively. Because a height of 0 cm is not reasonable, we consider only the zeros 10 and 7. The shortest side is xiv and we are cutting off two squares, so values \(due west\) may take on are greater than zero or less than 7. This ways we will restrict the domain of this office to \(0<w<7\).Using technology to sketch the graph of \(5(w)\) on this reasonable domain, nosotros get the graph shown in Effigy \(\PageIndex{24}\). We tin can use this graph to estimate the maximum value for the book, restricted to values for \(due west\) that are reasonable for this problem—values from 0 to seven.
Figure \(\PageIndex{24}\):
Graph of \(V(due west)=(202w)(142w)west\)
From this graph, we plough our focus to only the portion on the reasonable domain, \([0, 7]\). We tin estimate the maximum value to be around 340 cubic cm, which occurs when the squares are about 2.75 cm on each side. To improve this estimate, we could use advanced features of our engineering science, if available, or simply alter our window to zoom in on our graph to produce Effigy \(\PageIndex{25}\).
Effigy \(\PageIndex{25}\):
Graph of \(V(w)=(202w)(142w)w\).
From this zoomedin view, we tin can refine our guess for the maximum book to about 339 cubic cm, when the squares measure approximately ii.7 cm on each side.
\(\PageIndex{6}\):
Employ technology to discover the maximum and minimum values on the interval \([−i,4]\) of the function \(f(x)=−0.2(x−ii)^3(x+one)^ii(10−4)\).
 Answer

The minimum occurs at approximately the point \((0,−6.5)\),
and the maximum occurs at approximately the point \((3.5,seven)\).
Cardinal Concepts
 Polynomial functions of degree 2 or more are polish, continuous functions.
 To find the zeros of a polynomial function, if information technology tin exist factored, factor the function and fix each factor equal to nothing.
 Some other mode to find the tenintercepts of a polynomial office is to graph the function and identify the points at which the graph crosses the tencentrality.
 The multiplicity of a null determines how the graph behaves at the 10intercepts.
 The graph of a polynomial volition cross the horizontal axis at a cipher with odd multiplicity.
 The graph of a polynomial will touch the horizontal axis at a zero with fiftyfifty multiplicity.
 The stop beliefs of a polynomial role depends on the leading term.
 The graph of a polynomial part changes direction at its turning points.
 A polynomial role of degree \(northward\) has at most \(north−1\) turning points.
 To graph polynomial functions, find the zeros and their multiplicities, make up one’s mind the end behavior, and ensure that the final graph has at most \(n−ane\) turning points.
 Graphing a polynomial function helps to guess local and global extremas.
 The Intermediate Value Theorem tells us that if \(f(a)\) and \(f(b)\) have opposite signs, so at that place exists at to the lowest degree 1 value \(c\) between \(a\) and \(b\) for which \(f(c)=0\).
Glossary
global maximum
highest turning point on a graph; \(f(a)\) where \(f(a){\geq}f(x)\) for all \(10\).
global minimum
lowest turning point on a graph; \(f(a)\) where \(f(a){\leq}f(x)\) for all \(x\).
Intermediate Value Theorem
for two numbers \(a\) and \(b\) in the domain of \(f\), if \(a<b\) and \(f(a) \neq f(b)\), and so the function \(f\) takes on every value between \(f(a)\) and \(f(b)\); specifically, when a polynomial role changes from a negative value to a positive value, the part must cross the tenaxis
multiplicity
the number of times a given factor appears in the factored course of the equation of a polynomial; if a polynomial contains a factor of the form \((10−h)^p\), \(x=h\) is a zip of multiplicity \(p\).
Which Polynomial Function Has a Leading Coefficient of 1
Source: https://math.libretexts.org/Courses/Borough_of_Manhattan_Community_College/MAT_206_Precalculus/3%3A_Polynomial_and_Rational_Functions_New/3.4%3A_Graphs_of_Polynomial_Functions