Exponent on Negative Number

  • Thread starter ecoo
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  • #26
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So from what I am thinking, would it be wrong to think that in the equation -3^2 = -9, then the dash in front of the 3 is a subtraction symbol. So if we have subtraction a dash symbol and negative numbers a superscript dash symbol, then the dash in front of 3 would be a regular dash and the dash in front of 9 would be superscript dash.

So it would seem that if the dash in front of 3 were superscript, then the answer would be positive 9.
There aren't different types of dash symbols. You only have two types.

1) Substraction. This is a binary operation between two numbers. Like ##3-9## and ##1-1##.

2) Negative of a number. This is a unary operation on one number, like ##-3##.

The two are linked by ##0-x=-x## and ##x-y = x+(-y)##.

So ##-3^2## can be seen as ##0-3^2## if you want, but the result is still ##-9##. The only way you can get this to yield ##9## is by inserting brackets.
 
  • #27
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There aren't different types of dash symbols. You only have two types.

1) Substraction. This is a binary operation between two numbers. Like ##3-9## and ##1-1##.

2) Negative of a number. This is a unary operation on one number, like ##-3##.

The two are linked by ##0-x=-x## and ##x-y = x+(-y)##.

So ##-3^2## can be seen as ##0-3^2## if you want, but the result is still ##-9##. The only way you can get this to yield ##9## is by inserting brackets.
Yes yes I have nothing wrong with the answer, but to get that answer the dash must represent subtraction, right? Parenthesis around dash and the number (e.g. (-3)^2) is just to clarify that the dash is the symbol for negative and not subtraction.
So -3^2 is actually 0 - (3^2), which is the subtraction of the square of a positive number.
 
  • #28
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Yes yes I have nothing wrong with the answer, but to get that answer the dash must represent subtraction, right? Parenthesis around dash and the number (e.g. (-3)^2) is just to clarify that the dash is the symbol for negative and not subtraction.
No. The dash in ##-x## just means "take the negative of ##x##".
Similarly, if we write ##-3^2##, then this means "take the negative of ##3^2##," which is ##-9##.
 
  • #29
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No. The dash in ##-x## just means "take the negative of ##x##".
Similarly, if we write ##-3^2##, then this means "take the negative of ##3^2##," which is ##-9##.
So what you are saying is that -3^2 = -1(3^2)

So like the subtraction, the dash is not stating the 3 is negative, it is either saying subtraction or multiplying by -1 (that is a negative 1 confirmed) :D

I also added a bit more on previous post.
 
  • #30
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