anonymous
  • anonymous
Simplify the expression: -20a ^{-2}b ^{-7} / 5a ^{-5}b ^{3} Write your answer without negative exponents.
Mathematics
  • Stacey Warren - Expert brainly.com
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SOLVED
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katieb
  • katieb
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anonymous
  • anonymous
\[-20a ^{-2}b ^{-7} / 5a ^{-5}b ^{3}\] There is the equation how it is supposed to look.
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
$$\frac{-20a ^{-2}b ^{-7}}{ 5a ^{-5}b ^{3}}$$
anonymous
  • anonymous
Yeah, thats the equation. I'm just a little lost.

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More answers

skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
The first thing you should understand is this is not an "equation," it is an "expression" do you know why?
anonymous
  • anonymous
Because it doesn't have an equals sign to equal a value.
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Correct :) An "equation" must have an "equals sign"
anonymous
  • anonymous
So when I'm dividing two numbers like this, don't I divide all whole number and subtract like variables?
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
There are certain "rules of exponents" that you should understand first. You are perfectly correct in working with "like variables" by this I mean the bases must be the same.
anonymous
  • anonymous
So I can subtract the exponents on say \[a^{-2}\] and \[a ^{-5}\]?
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Yes, -3-(-5) is the exponent on a.
anonymous
  • anonymous
But the first A has a negative two on it?
anonymous
  • anonymous
And then that gives us -7, but the question says to write the answer without negative exponents. This is where I start to get lost...
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Ooops I meant -2-(-5) is the exponent on a.
anonymous
  • anonymous
Okay so that gives us A^-7, and like I said... the original question asks to write it without negative exponents. I kinda get lost whenever I come to this point.
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
What is -2-(-5)=?
anonymous
  • anonymous
OH! its a negative negative... so the answer to that would be 3?
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Yes :)
anonymous
  • anonymous
Okay, and just one final question. On the -20 / 5... its just that, right? -20 / 5?
anonymous
  • anonymous
Actually one more question now that I look at that. The b^-7 and b^3 would be -7 + 3, correct?
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
How many times does 5 go into 20?
anonymous
  • anonymous
4
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
So -20 / 5 =?
anonymous
  • anonymous
-4
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Correct :)
anonymous
  • anonymous
Okay, now one more question (sorry). The -7 + 3 on the B's would be -4. What am I not seeing there?
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
The exponent is 10 on b and it belongs in the denominator.
anonymous
  • anonymous
How?
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
3-(-7)
anonymous
  • anonymous
Ah okay, so it would be \[-4a ^{3}b ^{10}\]
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
|dw:1370350807547:dw|
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
|dw:1370350930807:dw|
anonymous
  • anonymous
So wait, would it be \[-4a ^{3}b ^{10}\]
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
The exponent is 10 on b and it belongs in the denominator.
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
|dw:1370351118232:dw|
anonymous
  • anonymous
So \[\frac{ -4a ^{3} }{ b ^{10} }\]
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Correct :)
anonymous
  • anonymous
So now that I see it that way, why does the \[-4a ^{3}\] stay in the numerator while the \[b ^{10}\] moves to the denominator?
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Because the absolute value of the exponent is larger.
anonymous
  • anonymous
Ah okay, thanks!
skullpatrol
  • skullpatrol
Thanks for trying to learn :D

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