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Math Help - graph equation with weird | brackets

  1. #1
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    Unhappy graph equation with weird | brackets

    There is an equation for a graph that I am confused about, it's quite long, so i'll just explain the confusing bit.
    y=(x+1)^8 / |x+1|^8
    (you'll have to make do with that as i can't make it look prettier)
    What do the | straight line brackets mean? i thought they would just mean the same as normal ones, but they can't because then that bit of the equation would always equal 1?

    The internet doesn't help because google doesn't understand the | symbol, I hope this forum can!
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  2. #2
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    Absolute value. The stuff inside the straight brackets is usually absolute value. Or sometimes the greatest integer function but then the brackets are usually a forwards L and a backwards L. Of course if you're taking it to the 8th power, taking the absolute value is completely pointless if x is a real number.
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  3. #3
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    Oh, by the way, YES, it is always equal 1 - unless x=-1, then it's 0 divided by 0. So to graph it, you'd just draw a horizontal line at a height of 1, and an open circle at the value x=-1 to show that the function doesn't exist there.
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