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Topic: positive exponents
Replies: 7   Last Post: May 13, 1995 1:20 PM

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Posts: 243
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: positive exponents
Posted: May 10, 1995 12:34 PM
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What do you mean "eliminate negative exponents?" There's nothing wrong
with writing x^-1 instead of 1/x. Sometimes it's better left that way.

For example, it's a lot easier to multiply x^2 + x^-1 times x^-2 + x^3 than
to multiply (x^3 + 1)/x times (x^5 + 1)/x^2.

On the other hand, if you want to set a rational function equal to zero, it
helps to get it in a quotient form with only positive exponents, since you
can then go ahead and (almost) ignore the denominator. (Of course at the
end you have to check that your solutions don't make the denominator equal
to zero).

So it really depends on the situation.

Judy Roitman, Mathematics Department
Univ. of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66049

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