# Squaring a Negative Exponent

Staff Emeritus
Trying to find out the kinetic energy that a 1kg ball gives the earth if dropped from 100 ft. I just don't know how to square a negative exponent. 4x10^-24 squared is? I was thinking it would be 4x10^-48, but I really don't know. If that is correct, would the result be different if the exponent was an odd number? Like 4x10^-23 squared?

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Mentallic
Homework Helper
Is it $$\left(4\cdot 10^{24}\right)^2$$ or $$4\cdot \left(10^{24}\right)^2$$ ?

Either way, consider the rules $$(ab)^2=a^2\cdot b^2$$ and $$\left(a^b\right)^c=a^{bc}$$

Staff Emeritus
Should be (4x10^-24)^2

HallsofIvy
Homework Helper
$(a^b)^c= a^{bc}$ so you are multiplying the exponents.

(-24)(2)= -48.

$$(4\cdot 10^{-24})^2= 4^2\cdot 10^{(2)(-24)}= 16\cdot 10^{-48}$$

If you were writing this in "scientific notation" where the first number is always between 1 and 10, it would be
$$1.6\cdot 10^{-47}$$

Staff Emeritus