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Math Help - negative simplification

  1. #1
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    negative simplification

    Consider:

    (8a) (b) (a)
    ----------------
    (b) (-8a^2) (-b)


    Simplify:

    (-1) (a^2-2) (b^1-2)

    8 divide by -8 is -1, two a at numerator is a^2, then a^2-2

    what about b? I have a minus b at the denominator, what would the final b be? a positive or negative? - I took the numerator b which is a positive.

    (-1) (a^0) (b^-1)

    (-1) (1) (b^-1)

    -b^-1

    The answer is b^-1.

    I think I got my signs wrong and I don't know how to deal with the signs as in the case of b.

    Please help to explain how to deal with the signs of b.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Grand Panjandrum
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    Quote Originally Posted by shenton View Post
    Consider:

    (8a) (b) (a)
    ----------------
    (b) (-8a^2) (-b)
    rewrite this as:

    ...(8a) (b) (a).............. (8a)(b)(a) ..................(8a)(b)(a)...............
    ---------------- = ---------------------- = ----------------------
    (b) (-8a^2) (-b).... (b)(-1)(8a^2)(-1)(b)...... (b)[(-1)^2](8a^2)(b)

    .....................(8a)(b)(a)...............
    ...............= ---------------
    ...................(b)(8a^2)(b)

    That is collect all the negative signs together and simplify down.

    RonL
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