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Edit: sorry about the title, it was warped when I pressed Control + z

  1. Oct 15, 2011 #1
    Edit: sorry about the title, it was warped when I pressed Control + z a few times. This is a question about monomials.

    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    How do I simplify (2n)4 + 2n4?

    2. Relevant equations

    N/A

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The problem I'm having is with the parenthesis. So really I just want to simplify (2n)4.

    Would it be 2n4 or 16n4? The first one seems more intuitive, but I have no idea what it should be.

    I'd really appreciate some help. This is the only part of math that I find unattractive.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2011
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2011 #2

    Ray Vickson

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    Re: Monomials

    For any a, a^4 means a*a*a*a, so (2n)^4 means 2n * 2n * 2n * 2n = 16n^4. Never mind your "intuition" about what you think symbols _should_ mean. They have conventional meanings that are hundreds of years old.

    RGV
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 17, 2011
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