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Math Help - negative indices

  1. #1
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    negative indices

    if 1/x^2 = x^-2/1 then why is 5/x^2 = 5x^-2 instead of x^-2/5?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by olivia59 View Post
    if 1/x^2 = x^-2/1 then why is 5/x^2 = 5x^-2 instead of x^-2/5?
    \frac{1}{x^2} = x^{-2}


    \frac{5}{x^2} = 5\cdot\frac{1}{x^2}

     = 5x^{-2}.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member pacman's Avatar
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    "if 1/x^2 = x^-2/1 then why is 5/x^2 = 5x^-2 instead of x^-2/5? "

    that blue thing "1/x^2 = x^-2/1" is wrong, this is correct: 1/x^2 = x^-2

    this is correct, 5/x^2 = 5x^-2 not this 5/x^2= x^-2/5

    rules of exponent:

    (i) (x/y)^2 = x^2/y^2

    (ii) 1/x^n = x^(-n) . . . . . . . . .

    rule (ii) applies to your queries.
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