Complex Factors of Real and Complex Polynomials

I’m getting ready for my fall Complex Variables class.  I noticed that the built-in Maxima function residue doesn’t reliably do the right thing.  My goal is to make some improvements to  Maxima residue calculations in Maxima over the course of the next month.

As I started to look at some test cases, I realized I didn’t know how to factor a polynomial into complex factors.  In the simplest case:


but I wanted to see


Maybe someone will find this and let me know that there’s a simple way to make that happen using existing Maxima commands.  Until then, I’ve written a little utility  to identify the roots (both real and complex) of a polynomial and return a factorization.  Here’s an example, and the code.  Notice that it only works as well as the root finder solve.  I tried to upgrade to the more robust to_poly_solve,  but I don’t yet know how to handle multiplicities in that case.


/* This commented code was meant to use the
more robust solver to_poly_solve, but 
I couldn't understand how to handle multiplicities
for j:1 thru n do 
 if lhs(s[j])#0 
 then fp:fp*(_z-(rhs(s[j])))^m[j],

3 thoughts on “Complex Factors of Real and Complex Polynomials”

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