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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
Associated Topics:
Middle School Exponents

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