Root multiplicities and number of nonzero coefficients of a polynomial

Research paper by Sandro Mattarei

Indexed on: 20 Jan '06Published on: 20 Jan '06Published in: Mathematics - Number Theory


It is known that the weight (that is, the number of nonzero coefficients) of a univariate polynomial over a field of characteristic zero is larger than the multiplicity of any of its nonzero roots. We extend this result to an appropriate statement in positive characteristic. Furthermore, we present a new proof of the original result, which produces also the exact number of monic polynomials of a given degree for which the bound is attained. A similar argument allows us to determine the number of monic polynomials of a given degree, multiplicity of a given nonzero root, and number of nonzero coefficients, over a finite field of characteristic larger than the degree.