Could someone please sort out this contradiction which must come from some very basic error - but where and which error? If you raise -3 to the power of 1/2, this gives the square root of -3 which has no real value, but if you raise it to the power of 2/4, you are finding the fourth root of -3 squared, which is the fourth root of +9 which is real. What is wrong here?

Thanks in anticipation.

Thanks in anticipation.

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