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- Jun 22, 2012

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Proposition 9 in Section 9.4 reads as follows:

Proposition 9. Let F be a field and let [TEX] p(x) \in F[x] [/TEX]. Then p(x) has a factor of degree one if and only if p(x) has a root in F i.e. there is an [TEX] \alpha \in F [/TEX] with [TEX] p( \alpha ) = 0 [/TEX]

Then D&F state that Proposition 9 gives a criterion for irreducibility for polynomials of small degree

D&F then state Proposition 10 as follows:

Proposition 10: A polynomial of degree two or three over a field F is reducible if and only if it has a root in F

BUT! Here is my problem - why does not a root in F imply reducibility in polynomials of all degrees? A root in F means, I think, that the polynomial concerned has a linear factor and hence can be factored into a linear factor times a polynomial of degree n-1???

Can anyone clarify this for me?

Peter

[This question has also been posted on MHF]