Content (algebra)

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In algebra, the content of a polynomial with integer coefficients is the greatest common factor of its coefficients. Thus, e.g., the content of 12x^3+30x-20 equals 2, since this is the greatest common factor of 12, 30, and -20. The definition may be extended to polynomials with coefficients in any fixed unique factorization domain.

A polynomial is primitive if it has content unity.

Gauss's lemma for polynomials states that the product of primitive polynomials (with coefficients in the same unique factorization domain) also is primitive. Equivalently, it may be expressed as stating that for the content of the product of two polynomials is the product of their contents.

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