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This module is from Elementary Algebra by Denny Burzynski and Wade Ellis, Jr. The basic operations with real numbers are presented in this chapter. The concept of absolute value is discussed both geometrically and symbolically. The geometric presentation offers a visual understanding of the meaning of |x|. The symbolic presentation includes a literal explanation of how to use the definition. Negative exponents are developed, using reciprocals and the rules of exponents the student has already learned. Scientific notation is also included, using unique and real-life examples.Objectives of this module: understand the concepts of reciprocals and negative exponents, be able to work with negative exponents.

Overview

  • Reciprocals
  • Negative Exponents
  • Working with Negative Exponents

Reciprocals

Reciprocals

Two real numbers are said to be reciprocals of each other if their product is 1. Every nonzero real number has exactly one reciprocal, as shown in the examples below. Zero has no reciprocal.

4 1 4 = 1. This means that 4 and 1 4 are reciprocals .

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6 1 6 = 1. Hence, 6 and 1 6 are reciprocals .

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2 1 2 = 1. Hence, 2 and 1 2 are reciprocals .

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a 1 a = 1. Hence, a and 1 a are reciprocals if a 0.

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x 1 x = 1. Hence, x and 1 x are reciprocals if x 0.

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x 3 1 x 3 = 1. Hence, x 3 and 1 x 3 are reciprocals if x 0.

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Negative exponents

We can use the idea of reciprocals to find a meaning for negative exponents.

Consider the product of x 3 and x 3 . Assume x 0 .

x 3 x 3 = x 3 + ( 3 ) = x 0 = 1

Thus, since the product of x 3 and x 3 is 1, x 3 and x 3 must be reciprocals.

We also know that x 3 1 x 3 = 1 . (See problem 6 above.) Thus, x 3 and 1 x 3 are also reciprocals.

Then, since x 3 and 1 x 3 are both reciprocals of x 3 and a real number can have only one reciprocal, it must be that x 3 = 1 x 3 .

We have used 3 as the exponent, but the process works as well for all other negative integers. We make the following definition.

If n is any natural number and x is any nonzero real number, then

x n = 1 x n

Sample set a

Write each of the following so that only positive exponents appear.

( 3 a ) 6 = 1 ( 3 a ) 6

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( 5 x 1 ) 24 = 1 ( 5 x 1 ) 24

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( k + 2 z ) ( 8 ) = ( k + 2 z ) 8

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Practice set a

Write each of the following using only positive exponents.

( x y ) 4

1 ( x y ) 4

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( a + 2 b ) 12

1 ( a + 2 b ) 12

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( m n ) ( 4 )

( m n ) 4

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Caution

It is important to note that a n is not necessarily a negative number. For example,

3 2 = 1 3 2 = 1 9 3 2 9

Working with negative exponents

The problems of Sample Set A suggest the following rule for working with exponents:

Moving factors up and down

In a fraction, a factor can be moved from the numerator to the denominator or from the denominator to the numerator by changing the sign of the exponent.

Sample set b

Write each of the following so that only positive exponents appear.

x 2 y 5 . The f a c t o r x 2 can be moved from the numerator to the denominator by changing the exponent 2 to + 2. x 2 y 5 = y 5 x 2

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a 9 b 3 . The f a c t o r b 3 can be moved from the numerator to the denominator by changing the exponent 3 to + 3. a 9 b 3 = a 9 b 3

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a 4 b 2 c 6 . This fraction can be written without any negative exponents by moving the f a c t o r c 6 into the numerator . We must change the 6 to + 6 to make the move legitimate . a 4 b 2 c 6 = a 4 b 2 c 6

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Questions & Answers

Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
?
Kyle
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
Adin
why?
Adin
what school?
Kyle
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
Joe
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
research.net
kanaga
sciencedirect big data base
Ernesto
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
hi
Loga
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
Bharti
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Elementary algebra. OpenStax CNX. May 08, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10614/1.3
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