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Quintic **equations** are polynomial equations with one **variable**, customarily denoted by *x*, which is never raised to a power greater than the fifth. Symbolically, such an equation can be written as follows: *ax*^{5} + *bx*^{4} + *cx*^{3} + *dx*dx^{2} + *ex* + *f* = 0. The problem of solving polynomial equations in general, and quintic equations in particular, has been a central theme in from antiquity to the present.

Babylonian mathematicians already knew how to solve **quadratic equations** (with no power of *x* greater than 2). In the early 1500s, Italian mathematicians discovered how to solve **cubic equations** (with no power of *x* greater than 3) and **quartic equations** (with no power greater than 4). In each case, the solution could be found with nothing more than the elementary operations of **addition**, **subtraction**, **multiplication** and **division**, plus the special operations of taking **square** **roots** or cube roots. This discovery suggested that a general method for...

This section contains 791 words(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page) |