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Exponents ! Help!

  1. Feb 4, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Code (Text):

    4a^4b^3      -a^3
    ---------- x -------
    a^5b^6        -(b^2)
     
    2. Relevant equations



    3. The attempt at a solution

    (4a^4b^3)(1a^3)
    = 4-a^7b^-3
    ---------------
    a^5-b^4

    = $-a^2b^-1

    WHERE DID I GO WRONG!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2010
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2010 #2

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    I tried wrapping your equation in "code" tags to help the spacing, but even that didn't really help the readability. Can you try using the code tags and some spacing to help readability? Thanks.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2010 #3
    Sorrry I don't know how!
     
  5. Feb 4, 2010 #4

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Let me try in Latex:

    [tex]\frac{4a^4 b^3}{a^5 b^6} x \frac{-a^3}{-(b^2)}[/tex]

    Did I get that right? You can use the QUOTE button to see how the Latex is formed, and emulate it in your calculations that you're going to do here...

    (There's alwo a Latex tutorial stickie post in the Learning Materials forum)
     
  6. Feb 4, 2010 #5
    Yes that's it! I still don't get it though.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2010 #6

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Get what? How to post in Latex, or how to distribute the exponents and simplify the expression?
     
  8. Feb 4, 2010 #7
    I don't get either. But i just need how to simplify it.
     
  9. Feb 4, 2010 #8

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Well, start small. Start with the original stuff:

    [tex]\frac{4a^4 b^3}{a^5 b^6} x \frac{-a^3}{-(b^2)}[/tex]

    And just look at the "a" component first:

    [tex]\frac{-a^3 * 4a^4}{a^5} [/tex]

    when you multiply terms with the same base, you add the exponents, right? And when you divide terms with the same base, you subtract the exponent of the term in the denominator. What do you get by doing that to the above?
     
  10. Feb 4, 2010 #9
    -4a^2?
     
  11. Feb 4, 2010 #10
    How about:
    3-3 + 3-4
    _____________
    3-5
     
  12. Feb 4, 2010 #11

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Correct for my question.
     
  13. Feb 4, 2010 #12

    berkeman

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    Staff: Mentor

    Say what?
     
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