Negative Exponents – Negative Exponent Rules

Negative Exponent Rules

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Students apply negative exponent rules to problems involving numerical bases with negative exponents. For example, to simplify 6^(-7) x 6^5, we use our negative exponent rules, which tell us to add the exponents and leave the base the same, to get 6^(-7+5), or 6^(-2). Next, we rewrite 6^(-2) as 1/6^2, or 1/36. It's very important to stick to the rules for negative exponents when working with numbers as bases. In other words, the rules of negative exponents tell us that we always leave the base the same when applying negative exponents rules.
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