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Calculus IV
15.Functions of Several Variables
16.Multiple Integration
17.Vector Analysis
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Course: Algebra II / Elementary Algebra
Topic: Exponents and Polynomials
Subtopic: Negative Exponents

Overview

Throughout the course we have been working with positive exponents, but in this lesson we formalize the processes and rules. We also add to our repertoire negative exponents (like 2-4 and x-3) and powers of zero (like 30 and -y0). Negative powers mean to take a reciprocal (flip), so for example: x-3 means 1/x3, (2x)-4=1/(2x)4=1/(16x4), 2x-4=2/x4, and (2/x)-4=(x/2)4=x4/16.

Caution: Notice how important the parentheses are? They indicate exactly what is to the power and what isn't. Careful!

Objectives

By the end of this topic you should know and be prepared to be tested on:

Terminology

Define: zero power, negative power, product rule of exponents, power rules of exponents, quotient rule of exponents (memorize all three rules!)