Dividing exponents

 

Dividing exponents

How to divide exponents.

 

Dividing exponents with same base

For exponents with the same base, we should subtract the exponents:

a n / a m = a n-m

Example:

26 / 23 = 26-3 = 23 = 2⋅2⋅2 = 8

 

Dividing exponents with different bases

When the bases are different and the exponents of a and b are the same, we can divide a and b first:

a n / b n = (a / b) n

Example:

63 / 23 = (6/2)3 = 33 = 3⋅3⋅3 = 27

 

When the bases and the exponents are different we have to calculate each exponent and then divide:

a n / b m

Example:

62 / 33 = 36 / 27 = 1.333

 

Dividing negative exponents

For exponents with the same base, we can subtract the exponents:

a-n / a-m = a-n-(-m) = am-n

Example:

2-3 / 2-5 = 25-3 = 22 = 2⋅2 = 4

 

When the bases are different and the exponents of a and b are the same, we can multiply a and b first:

a-n / b-n = (a/b)-n= 1 / (a/b)n = (b/a)n

Example:

3-2 / 4-2 = (4/3)2 = 1.7778

 

When the bases and the exponents are different we have to calculate each exponent and then divide:

a-n / b-m = bm / an

Example:

3-2 / 4-3 = 43 / 32 = 64 / 9 = 7.111

 

Dividing fractions with exponents

Dividing fractions with exponents with same fraction base:

(a / b)n / (a / b)m = (a / b)n-m

Example:

(4/3)3 / (4/3)2 = (4/3)3-2 = (4/3)1 = 4/3 = 1.333

 

Dividing fractions with exponents with same exponent:

(a / b)n / (c / d)n = ((a/ b)/(c / d))n = ((a⋅d / b⋅c))n

Example:

(4/3)3 / (3/5)3 = ((4/3)/(3/5))3 = ((4⋅5)/(3⋅3))3 = (20/9)3 = 10.97

 

Dividing fractions with exponents with different bases and exponents:

(a / b) n / (c / d) m

Example:

(4/3)3 / (1/2)2 = 2.37 / 0.25 = 9.481

 

Dividing fractional exponents

Dividing fractional exponents with same fractional exponent:

a n/m / b n/m = (a / b) n/m

Example:

33/2 / 23/2 = (3/2)3/2= 1.53/2 = (1.53) = 3.375 = 1.837

 

Dividing fractional exponents with same base:

a n/m / a k/j = a (n/m)-(k/j)

Example:

23/2 / 24/3 = 2(3/2)-(4/3) = 2(1/6) = 62= 1.122

 

Dividing fractional exponents with different exponents and fractions:

a n/m / b k/j

Example:

23/2 / 24/3 = (23) / 3(24) = 2.828 / 2.52 = 1.1222

 

Dividing variables with exponents

For exponents with the same base, we can subtract the exponents:

xn / xm = xn-m

Example:

x5 / x3 = ( x⋅x⋅x⋅x⋅x) / (x⋅x⋅x) = x5-3 = x2

 

See also

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