# HELP WITH EXPONENTS

The expression shown below contains a negative exponent.

Simplify to the maximum extent possible.

(3/AB^3)^-1

Use the general formula: x^(-a) = 1/(x^a)

### Comments for HELP WITH EXPONENTS

 Sep 18, 2010 Negative Exponents by: Staff The question: (3/AB^3)^-1 The answer: An expression raised to negative exponent means: A fraction Numerator: 1 (always) Denominator: the expression raised to the original exponent without the negative sign For example: 2^-2 = 1/(2^2) = ¼, 3^-3 = 1/(3^3) = 1/27, and so forth Apply this idea to your problem: (3/AB^3)^-1 = 1/(3/AB^3)^1 Now simplify the expression 1/(3/AB^3)^1 = 1/(3/AB^3) Since there are two fractions involved, multiply both the numerator and the denominator by (AB^3)/3. (AB^3)/3 is the multiplicative inverse of the fraction in the denominator. This will eliminate (cancel) the fraction in the denominator and give you the final simplified answer. (Sorry I had to use so many brackets.) 1/(3/AB^3) = 1 * [(AB^3)/3]/{(3/AB^3) * [(AB^3)/3]} 1 * [(AB^3)/3]/{(3/AB^3) * [(AB^3)/3]} = (AB^3)/3 The final answer is: (AB^3)/3 Thanks for writing. Staff www.solving-math-problems.com

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