Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Josh, a student:

What is the correlation between imaginary roots (of a quadratic or other polynomial equation) and the graph of the equation? As in, how can one represent imaginary solutions graphically (and why does that work)?


Hi Josh,

Try plotting the three functions

f(x) = x2 - 4
g(x) = x2
h(x) = x2 + 4

What are the roots of these polynomials? Answer this question both algebraically and by looking at the graphs.


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