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SImplifying logarithmic functions

  1. Dec 16, 2013 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data[/

    Simplify: log base 2 x^2*y^3

    2. Relevant equations

    I know that log base 2 x^2 * y^3 is log base 2 x^2 + log base 2 y^3

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Here is what I thought:

    2 log base 2 x + 3 log base 2 y But that does not seem to be simplified, it seems to be more complicated. Is there something else I should have done?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2013 #2

    Dick

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    No, I don't think so. That looks correct and I think it's what they want. Instead of
    "simplify" they probably should have said "express ##log_2 (x^2 y^3)## in terms of ##log_2 x## and ##log_2 y##".
     
  4. Dec 16, 2013 #3

    Mentallic

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    Don't be surprised if in the very next question they ask you simplify

    [tex]3\log_2{x}-2\log_2{y}[/tex]
    or something equivalent, and you're expected to produce the result

    [tex]\log_2{\frac{x^3}{y^2}}[/tex]

    Just keep in mind that simplify in this context usually means to take it from one extreme to the other. Leaving the answer to your question "in between" the two extremes at [itex]\log_2{x^2}+\log_2{y^3}[/itex] would be incorrect.
     
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