The Method of Partial Fractions

The Fundamental Theorem of Algebra thus tells us that there are 4 different "simplest'' denominator types:

The method of partial fractions deals with each of them in a slightly different manner.

A Hint.

The number of letters you use always equals the degree of the denominator polynomial! This rule does not only apply "globally'', but also "locally'': A repeated linear factor as tex2html_wrap_inline529 yields four expressions with four variable letters.

Try it yourself!

Predict the form of the right hand side for the following rational functions:
  1. tex2html_wrap_inline537
  2. tex2html_wrap_inline539
  3. tex2html_wrap_inline541
  4. tex2html_wrap_inline543
Click on the problem to see the answer! Click here to continue.

Helmut Knaust
Fri Jul 5 13:54:22 MDT 1996

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