Rule 2: To divide identical bases, subtract the exponents.

Problem 3: Simplify tex2html_wrap_inline62 .

Answer: tex2html_wrap_inline64 or tex2html_wrap_inline66

Solution: At first glance you might be tempted to say that you can do nothing with the problem because the bases are different. However, you can manipulate the numbers so that you can in fact simplify the above expression.
Recall that 40 can be written as 8 times 5. Rewrite the expression with that substitution. tex2html_wrap_inline62 can be written


However the tex2html_wrap_inline66 can again be written in a different way. tex2html_wrap_inline66 is equivalent to


Is the answer tex2html_wrap_inline64 written better than as tex2html_wrap_inline66 ? No, just different.

You can check your answer with your calculator.

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Author: Nancy Marcus

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