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Math Help - Exponentials, easy yet confusing problem to me

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    Exponentials, easy yet confusing problem to me

    Exponentials, easy yet confusing problem to me-gfsawsa.jpg The barrier on the -2 in the exponent is confusing me, the answer is clearly not 1. Whats the catch of this problem?
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanMomcilovic View Post
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ID:	20717 The barrier on the -2 in the exponent is confusing me, the answer is clearly not 1. Whats the catch of this problem?
    what does the colon between the two expressions represent?

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    [QUOTE=skeeter;615276]what does the colon between the two expressions represent?

    division
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    note that -2^{-2} = -\dfrac{1}{4} and (-2)^{-2} = \dfrac{1}{4}

    \displaystyle 81^{-\frac{1}{4}} \div 81^{\frac{1}{4}} = 81^{-\frac{1}{4} - \frac{1}{4}} = 81^{-\frac{1}{2}} = (3^4)^{-\frac{1}{2}} = 3^{-2}
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