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Math Help - factoring 16

  1. #1
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    factoring 16

    when factoring 16 compared to 2 thirds you divide 16 into 2x2x2x2 and then times 3
    why don't 2 of the twos in the 16 cancel out like in many other cases of factorization
    you are told to take only one number from each tree and in this case you take all 4?
    Last edited by ariel32; August 29th 2012 at 11:40 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: factoring 16

    why is it that sometimes when factoring you don't cancel out any factors when multiplying
    for example 16 in the denominator
    2x2x2x2 and if the other factor from a different fraction was 3 then
    it would be 2x2x2x2x3 and not 2x2x3 with two of these 2 canceled?
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  3. #3
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    Re: factoring 16

    Your question does not make much sense in either of your posts. Please provide an example (the full question/problem) and then explain with relevance to that question.
    In the mean time, maybe this will help:
    When factoring 2 numbers we take the highest common factor that they both share so which we can find easily by writing those numbers down as products of their primes (as you did, 2x2x2x2 or 2x2x3 etc etc). We then find the prime numbers that feature in both lists so in this example we would factor with 2x2 as 2 features twice in both lists....therefore 2x2=4 and 4 would be the highest common factor that we use.
    Last edited by skeeter; August 30th 2012 at 04:09 AM.
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