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§ 5.5
Negative Exponents and
Scientific Notation
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View Full Document MartinGay,
Beginning Algebra, 5ed
2
Negative Exponents
Negative Exponents
If
a
is a real number other than 0 and
n
is an integer, then
1
n
n
a
a

=
Example:
Simplify by writing each expression with positive exponents.
2
3
1
=
9
1
=
4
2
x
=
Remember that without parentheses,
x
is the base for the exponent –4, not 2
x
2
3

4
2

x
MartinGay,
Beginning Algebra, 5ed
3
Simplify by writing each of the following expressions with
positive exponents.
Simplifying Expressions
2
3


2
3
1

=
9
1

=
2
)
3
(


2
)
3
(
1

=
9
1
=
Notice the difference in results when the
parentheses are included around

3.
3
1
x
= 
3
x


Example:
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View Full Document MartinGay,
Beginning Algebra, 5ed
4
Simplify by writing each of the following expressions with
positive exponents.
3
1

x
3
1
1
x
=
4
2


y
x
4
2
1
1
y
x
=
2
4
x
y
=
1
3
x
=
3
x
=
(Note that to convert a power with a negative
exponent to one with a positive exponent, you
simply switch the power from a numerator to a
denominator, or vice versa, and switch the
exponent to its positive value.)
Simplifying Expressions
Example:
MartinGay,
Beginning Algebra, 5ed
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This note was uploaded on 06/10/2009 for the course MAC 1103 taught by Professor Prescott during the Spring '09 term at PascoHernando Community College.
 Spring '09
 prescott
 Algebra, Scientific Notation, Exponents

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