# Partial Fractions Explained

**Gihan Marasingha
Mathematical Institute
University of Oxford**

*Date:* 30 December, 2003

### Abstract:

I learned about partial fractions in high school and was taught a
recipe for expressing a rational function by its partial fraction
expansion. I was never taught why the recipe worked, or even
given a precise algorithm for carrying out the expansion. In
this article, I attempt to fill this gap for inquisitive students.

In what follows, I will be working with polynomials over an arbitrary field . If you don't know what a field is, just think of the reals or the complex numbers. I will denote the degree of a polynomial by .

- Some Ancillary Results About Polynomials
- The Partial Fraction Algorithm
- Application
- About this document ...
- Maths Home Page

Gihan Marasingha 2005-09-19