Zero to the Zero Power
Date: 9/6/95 at 14:31:53 From: Anonymous Subject: Algebra Since anything to the zero power is always one, then what is the correct solution to what zero to the zero power is? I need an answer ASAP because my students are dying to know and I need to restore their confidence in my abilities!! ha ha
Date: 9/13/95 at 13:13:26 From: Doctor Steve Subject: Re: Algebra Sorry for the delay. I hope you've figured out something in the meantime or found some other way to restore your students' confidence. Try writing the "zero power" in another way, for instance x^(2 + (-2)) and then expand this and see what happens when x is zero. One of the interesting features of mathematics is that not every operation is well-defined and sometimes we confess and say so as we do when dividing by zero. -Doctor Steve, The Geometry Forum
Date: 9/13/95 at 13:24:44 From: Doctor Steve Subject: Re: Algebra As an addendum to my last answer, if your students are very careful mathematicians, they might want to think the difference between something being undefined and something which is indeterminate and which applies in this case. -Doctor Steve, The Geometry Forum
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994- The Math Forum at NCTM. All rights reserved.