Factoring Calculator

The calculator will try to factor any expression (polynomial, binomial, trinomial, quadratic, rational, irrational, exponential, trigonometric, or mix of them), with steps shown. To do this, some substitutions are first applied to convert the expression into the polynomial, and then the following techniques are used: factoring monomials (common factor), factoring quadratics, grouping and regrouping, square of sum/difference, cube of sum/difference, difference of squares, sum/difference of cubes, and Rational Zeros Theorem.

Show Instructions
  • In general, you can skip the multiplication sign, so `5x` is equivalent to `5*x`.
  • In general, you can skip parentheses, but be very careful: e^3x is `e^3x`, and e^(3x) is `e^(3x)`.
  • Also, be careful when you write fractions: 1/x^2 ln(x) is `1/x^2 ln(x)`, and 1/(x^2 ln(x)) is `1/(x^2 ln(x))`.
  • If you skip parentheses or a multiplication sign, type at least a whitespace, i.e. write sin x (or even better sin(x)) instead of sinx.
  • Sometimes I see expressions like tan^2xsec^3x: this will be parsed as `tan^(2*3)(x sec(x))`. To get `tan^2(x)sec^3(x)`, use parentheses: tan^2(x)sec^3(x).
  • Similarly, tanxsec^3x will be parsed as `tan(xsec^3(x))`. To get `tan(x)sec^3(x)`, use parentheses: tan(x)sec^3(x).
  • From the table below, you can notice that sech is not supported, but you can still enter it using the identity `sech(x)=1/cosh(x)`.
  • If you get an error, double check your expression, add parentheses and multiplication signs where needed, and consult the table below.
  • All suggestions and improvements are welcome. Please leave them in comments.
The following table contains the supported operations and functions:
TypeGet
Constants
ee
pi`pi`
ii (imaginary unit)
Operations
a+ba+b
a-ba-b
a*b`a*b`
a^b, a**b`a^b`
sqrt(x), x^(1/2)`sqrt(x)`
cbrt(x), x^(1/3)`root(3)(x)`
root(x,n), x^(1/n)`root(n)(x)`
x^(a/b)`x^(a/b)`
abs(x)`|x|`
Functions
e^x`e^x`
ln(x), log(x)ln(x)
ln(x)/ln(a)`log_a(x)`
Trigonometric Functions
sin(x)sin(x)
cos(x)cos(x)
tan(x)tan(x), tg(x)
cot(x)cot(x), ctg(x)
sec(x)sec(x)
csc(x)csc(x), cosec(x)
Inverse Trigonometric Functions
asin(x), arcsin(x), sin^-1(x)asin(x)
acos(x), arccos(x), cos^-1(x)acos(x)
atan(x), arctan(x), tan^-1(x)atan(x)
acot(x), arccot(x), cot^-1(x)acot(x)
asec(x), arcsec(x), sec^-1(x)asec(x)
acsc(x), arccsc(x), csc^-1(x)acsc(x)
Hyperbolic Functions
sinh(x)sinh(x)
cosh(x)cosh(x)
tanh(x)tanh(x)
coth(x)coth(x)
1/cosh(x)sech(x)
1/sinh(x)csch(x)
Inverse Hyperbolic Functions
asinh(x), arcsinh(x), sinh^-1(x)asinh(x)
acosh(x), arccosh(x), cosh^-1(x)acosh(x)
atanh(x), arctanh(x), tanh^-1(x)atanh(x)
acoth(x), arccoth(x), cot^-1(x)acoth(x)
acosh(1/x)asech(x)
asinh(1/x)acsch(x)

Enter an expression:

Write all suggestions in comments below.

Solution

Your input: factor $$$x^{4} - 20 x^{2} + 64$$$.

We can treat as a quadratic function with respect to .

Let .

Temporarily rewrite in terms of : becomes .

To factor the quadratic function , we should solve corresponding quadratic equation .

Indeed, if and are the roots of the quadratic equation , then .

Solve the quadratic equation .

The roots are , (use quadratic equation calculator to see steps).

Therefore, .

Recall that :    .

Apply difference of squares formula with and :

Apply difference of squares formula with and :

Thus, $$$x^{4} - 20 x^{2} + 64=\left(x - 4\right) \left(x - 2\right) \left(x + 2\right) \left(x + 4\right)$$$.

Answer: $$$x^{4} - 20 x^{2} + 64=\left(x - 4\right) \left(x - 2\right) \left(x + 2\right) \left(x + 4\right)$$$.