#### Stephen Tashi

Science Advisor

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I'm not trying to avoid the complex numbers for my own personal use! My goal is to determine whether students who have not studied complex analysis can find authoritative answers.

In casual discussions, people are quick to offer answers to questions such as:

1) Is ##(-8)^{4/6} ## equal to ##(-8)^{2/3}##?

2) Is ##(1)^{5/0}## defined as the 5th power of the zeroth root of 1?

but what texts give authoritative answers to such questions and develop definitions for the above notations in a manner that is self-consistent?

Usually when the topic of raising a negative number to a rational power comes up, the answers refer to complex numbers. Has any author taken up the thankless task of treating this topic in a rigorous fashion without using complex analysis?