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Multiplication of Polynomials: Special Cases

Multiplication of Polynomials: Special Cases

Author: Seth Marx

The explanation of some special cases when multiplying polynomials and very helpful shortcuts that go with them.

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New Terms

Square of a binomial: the result of a binomial function multiplied by itself: (a + b)2 = (a + b)(a + b) = a2 + 2ab + b2

Binomial: a function with two terms in it

Polynomial: a function with two or more terms in it

FOIL: the acronym used for multiplying binomials... First Outside Inside Last, which means you multiply the FIRST two together, then the OUTSIDE, next the INSIDE, and lastly, the LAST (see the examples below if you need help)

Multiplication Shortcuts


square of a binomial: (a + b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2

square of a binomial: (a - b)2 = a2 - 2ab + b2

difference of 2 squares: (x + a)(x - a) = x2 - a2