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October 20th, 2008, 07:28 PM   #1
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Simplification help

Could anybody please explain how [attachment=1:2qzns35k]1.gif[/attachment:2qzns35k] simplifies to [attachment=0:2qzns35k]2.GIF[/attachment:2qzns35k]?

I'm not much good with throwing rational exponents around

Thanks!
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File Type: gif 2.GIF (1.1 KB, 111 views)
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October 20th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: Simplification help

Your problem might not be so much exponents as fractions?

Multiply AND divide 3x^(7/3) by 3x^(2/3) to have a common denominator for dividing [[color=#FF0000]Did I say, "dividing"? I mean adding[/color]] fractions. You should know how to multiply the two, or you had better go back over the fundamental rules for multiplying exponents (a^b)(a^c) = a^(b+c). You should know how to express the top part as a sum over a common denominator, that is as a single fraction.

You now have one fraction divided by something. Apply this rule:

(a/b)/c = (a/b)/(c/1) = (a/b)(1/c) = a/(bc)

The end result might be factored, but to no further advantage here.
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October 20th, 2008, 07:45 PM   #3
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Re: Simplification help

Ah! It makes sense now, thanks. Our Calc teacher doesn't make us simplify anything once the Calculus is done, but I've been doing all the problems anyway just to give myself the practice since I've been away from school (and math) for such a long time. Thanks for the help!
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October 21st, 2008, 01:17 PM   #4
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Re: Simplification help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salient
I've been doing all the problems anyway just to give myself the practice since I've been away from school (and math) for such a long time. Thanks for the help!
You won't regret doing that, but be sure of his/her expectations at exam time! You don't want to spend time then on one thing you could spend on another, nor omit doing something that is or will be expected then. Part of the exam game is knowing those expectations. It has nothing to do with the real life expectations on graduation when all your effort attending to the small things makes them done without conscious effort later on.
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