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Using factor on symbolic expression but not always factorizing

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Bill Tubbs
Bill Tubbs on 6 Jul 2020
Commented: Bill Tubbs on 6 Jul 2020
I'm trying to show both versions of a symbolic equation, one unfactorized and one factorized.
This example works as expected:
>> syms s
>> factor(s^2+2*s+1)
ans =
[ s + 1, s + 1]
However, it does nothing in this case:
>> factor(s^2+4*s+1)
ans =
s^2 + 4*s + 1
Expected:
[ s + 0.2679, s + 3.7321 ]
For reference:
>> roots([1 4 1])
ans =
-3.7321
-0.2679
Is it because the roots are not whole numbers? I.e. Does it only factorize if the factors are simple? Or am I doing something wrong?

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