Ask Dr. Math Negative Exponents

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 Negative Exponents, a selection of answers from the Dr. Math archives. Working with Negative Exponents Is multiplying by 10 to the negative 3rd power the same as dividing by 10 to the positive 3rd power? Negative Exponents What does the negative power of 2 mean? Exponents Containing Negative Integers Order of operations and raising a negative number to a power. Nested Negative Exponents How do I deal with nested negative exponents? Negative Numbers Combined with Exponentials Why in the order of operations is negation a multiplication done after exponentiation, rather than as a part of the base? What about polynomials? Positive and Negative Exponents Why does (-1)^n = 1 for any even number n, and why is (-17) ^-8 positive? Combining Positive and Negative Exponents When you simplify exponential expressions using the power rule, how do you combine positive and negative exponents in the numerator and denominator? Negative Signs in Exponents Is (-2^2)^3 greater than or less than 2^5? Negative Fraction Exponents Can you help me simplify terms with negative fraction exponents? For example, [2n^(1/3) - 4n^(-2/3)]/[2n^(-2/3)]. Zero to a Negative Exponent Is 0^(-3) equal to 0, or is it undefined? We can't determine whether to use the 0^x = 0 rule, or to interpret it as 1/(0^3).