Definition:Polynomial Function/Real

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Let $S \subset \R$ be a subset of the real numbers.

Definition 1

A real polynomial function on $S$ is a function $f: S \to \R$ for which there exist:

a natural number $n\in \N$
real numbers $a_0, \ldots, a_n \in \R$

such that for all $x \in S$:

$\map f x = \ds \sum_{k \mathop = 0}^n a_k x^k$

where $\sum$ denotes indexed summation.

Definition 2

Let $\R \sqbrk X$ be the polynomial ring in one variable over $\R$.

Let $\R^S$ be the ring of mappings from $S$ to $\R$.

Let $\iota \in \R^S$ denote the inclusion $S \hookrightarrow \R$.

A real polynomial function on $S$ is a function $f: S \to \R$ which is in the image of the evaluation homomorphism $\R \sqbrk X \to \R^S$ at $\iota$.


The parameters $a_0, \ldots a_n \in \R$ are known as the coefficients of the polynomial $P$.

Also known as

A polynomial function is often simply called polynomial.

Some sources refer to it as a rational integral function.

Also see

  • Results about real polynomial functions can be found here.