Factor working with Real numbers

*To*: mathgroup at yoda.physics.unc.edu*Subject*: Factor working with Real numbers*From*: herjan at it.et.tudelft.nl (Herjan Barnard)*Date*: Tue, 16 Mar 93 17:33:51 +0100

Hello MathGroup, I want to factor a polynomial equation with real coefficients into polynomials with real coefficients. This means that some of the factors are polynomials of degree 1 and some of degree 2. Example: Factor[-12 + x - 2 x^2 + x^3] -----> (x - 3) (x^2 + x + 4) However, Factor can handle only integer and rational coefficients. I want to have Factor[1 + 4 x + 10 x^2 + 20 x^3] // N -----> (1 + 2.9207 x) (1 + 1.0793 x + 6.84767 x^2) The only way I know is to use (N)Solve and multiplying the complex conjugate solutions, which is a rather clumsy method. Does anyone know a function that performs this type of factorization? H. J. Barnard. herjan at it.et.tudelft.nl