Radicals and Fractional Exponents

Posted: April 28, 2012 in Math Concepts

It is a common practice to use patterns involving exponents to show why b^0 = 1 and also why negative exponents such as b^-a give us fractions….

Can we use this same type of thinking to help us understand why  Let’s first take a look at 

To continue the pattern established in Figure 1, 1 times some unknown factor, b, will have to give us a missing number, k, such that when we multiply k by the same factor b we must get 3.

Therefore, since

we have

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