The Singing Hedgehog Guide to:
Indices in Algebra 2

There are four standard indices we need to know about.
 

Negative Indices

A negative power means the same as 1 over the positive power.

x-3 = 1/x3   2-3 = 1/23 = 1/8

 

Unit Indices

If the power is 1, this is the same as the number without a power.

x1 = x         21 = 2        2-1 = 1/21 = 1/2

 

Zero Indices

If the power is 0, the term has the value 1.

x0 = 1    20 = 1   googolplex0 = 1

 

Fractional Indices

A power written as a unit fraction means the root of the term.

A non-unit fraction means take the power of the numerator and the root of the denominator; order is not important.

x1/2 = √x  

 y-1/2 = 1/√y 

81/3 = 3√8  = 2 

x5/2 = √(x5)=(√x)5

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