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Positive, Zero and Negative Exponents

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More Lessons for Grade 6
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Videos, worksheets, stories and songs to help Grade 6 students learn how to evaluate positive, zero and negative exponents.

For example,
32 = 9, 30 = 1, 3-1= 1/3

There is also an explanation why a-b = 1/ab and why a0 =1
If the exponent is 0 then the answer is always 1. 
For example, 80 = 1, 170 = 1
Some mathematicians define 00 = 1, whereas others leave it undefined

Positive and Negative Exponents
Positive exponents are easy, but what happens when you have zero for the exponent? Or even worse, a negative number?
Pattern for zero and negative exponents
Example:
53 = 5 • 5 • 5
52 = 5 • 5
51 = 5
50 = 1
5-1 = 1/5
5-2 = 1/52
5-3 = 1/53
Zero and negative exponent properties
Zero Exponent Property
Any quantity raised to the zero power equals 1.

Negative Exponent Property
a-n = the reciprocal of an
a-n = 1/an
Definitions, covers negative exponents and zero as an exponent
Negative Exponent Intuition
Intuition on why a-b = 1/ab (and why a0 = 1)



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You can use the free Mathway calculator and problem solver below to practice Algebra or other math topics. Try the given examples, or type in your own problem and check your answer with the step-by-step explanations.


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