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Mathematics

Theory of Exponents

Created by
Iffa Nadifa Riza (15)
IX-B

SMP Negeri 1 Cilegon


Table of Contents
Cover................................................................................................................1
Table of Contents.............................................................................................2

Review of Exponents.......................................................................................3
Exponents of Negative Values.........................................................................4
Zero Exponents................................................................................................5
Negative Exponents.........................................................................................6
Exponents and Unit.........................................................................................7
Multiplying Powers..........................................................................................8
Dividing Powers...............................................................................................9
Powers to a Power.........................................................................................10
Powers of Products........................................................................................11

I. Review of Exponents
In general, the format for using exponents is: (base)exponent
the exponent tells you how many of the base are being multiplied
together.
Example : 2 x 2 x 2 = 23 , since there are three 2's being multiplied
together.
Another example like that is 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 x 5 = 55
because there are five 5's being multiplied together.
Exponents are also referred to as "powers".
For example, 23 can be read as "two cubed" or as "two raised to the
third power".

II. Exponents of Negative Values


When we multiply negative numbers together, we must utilize
parentheses to switch to exponent notation.
(-3) x (-3) x (-3) x (-3) x (-3) x (-3) = (-3)6
BEWARE!! -36 is not the same as (-3)6
The missing parentheses mean that -36 will multiply six 3's together first
(by order of operations), and then take the negative of that answer.
(-3)6 = 729

-36 = -729

but

Be careful with negative values and exponents!


Even powers of negative numbers allow for the negative values to be
arranged in pairs. This pairing guarantees that the answer will always be
positive.
(-5)6 = (-5)(-5) (-5)(-5) (-5)(-5)
All Pairs
=

25

25

25

= 15625 (a positive answer)


Odd powers of negative numbers, however, always leave one factor of
the negative number not paired. This one lone negative term guarantees
that the answer will always be negative.
(-5)5 = (-5)(-5) (-5)(-5) (-5)
=

25

25

(-5)

= -3125 (a negative answer)

One lone, un-paired, negative.

III. Zero Exponents


The number zero may be used as an exponent.
The value of any expression raised to the zero power is 1. Zero raised to
the zero power is undefined.
Base0
20
(4)0
(-6)0
-80

Value
1
1
1
-1
Raise to the zero power
first: 80=1
then take the negative
Undefined

00

IV. Negative Exponents


Negative numbers as exponents have a special meaning. The rule is as
follows: basenegative exponent =
1
positive exponent
base

For examples :
Negative Exponent Positive Exponent
4-1
7-3
(-5)-2

V. Exponents and Units


When working with units and exponents (or powers), remember to
adjust the units appropriately.
(36 ft)3 = (36 ft) (36 ft) (36 ft)
= (36 36 36) (ft ft ft)
= 46656 ft3

VI. Multiplying Powers


For all numbers x and all integers m and n,
am x an = am+n
This means when youre multiplying, and the bases are same, you add
the exponents.
Examples :
33 (36) (32) = 311
7r2 x 2r7 = 14r9 the bases are same and the numbers in front of the
bases are being multiplied.
(i7) (i-2) (i6) = i7+(-2)+6 = i11
-2rs2t3 (5s4) (7t2) = -70rs6t5 the exponents are added for the bases
that are the same. The numbers in front, the coefficients, are
multiplied.
x2y (x3 y) = x5y x2y2 the x2y is multiplied times EACH term inside
the parentheses, adding the exponents of similar bases as this process
occurs.

VII. Dividing Powers


For all numbers x 0 and all integers m and n,

This means when you are dividing, and the bases are the same, you
subtract ( - ) the exponents. Top exponent subtract bottom exponent,
or if Xm : Xn = Xm-n , left exponent subtract right exponent.
X5

X.X.X.X.X

X2

X.X

Examples :
a. r5 : r3 = r2
b. 27a4 : 9a3

= 3a the bases are same and the numbers in front of the

bases are being divided.


c. k2 : k4 = k2-4 = k-2
d. -21s2t3 : 3st2 = -7st the exponents are subtracted for the bases that
are the same. The numbers in front, the coefficients, are multiplied.

VIII. Powers to a Power


For all numbers x, and integers a and b,
(xa)b = xab
This means when raising a power to a power, multiply the exponents.
(x4)2 = (x4) (x4)
= x4+4
= x8
Examples :
o (53)3 = 59
o (3p4)5 = 3p20
o (ab)3 = a3b
o (y4)2a+3 = y8a+12
o (z-2)-5 = z10
o (x8)-5 = x-40

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IX. Powers of Products


For all numbers a and b, and integers x,
(ab)x = ax bx
That means each factor of the product gets raised to the new power. Be
sure to notice that this rule only works when the inside of the
parentheses is a single term (a product). No + signs or - signs separating
the items.
Examples :
(4x)2 = 4x (4x)
= (4 . 4) (x . x)
= 16x2
(ab2)4 = a4 . (b2)4 = a4b8
4(5y4)2 = 4 . 52 . (y4)2
= 4. 25 . y8

the 4 is not affected by the power of 2 since it is not


within the parentheses.

= 100y8
(-3b3)2 = (-3)2 . (b3)2
= 9 . b6
= 9b6
(2a-3)2 = 22 . a-6
4(-2x3)3 = 4 . (-2)3 . (x3)3
= 4 . (-8) . x9
= -32x9
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