Chapter 3

You’ve Got the Power: Powers and Roots

Powers provide a shorthand notation for multiplication using a base number and an exponent. Roots — also called radicals — reverse the process of powers. In this chapter, you practice taking powers and roots of positive integers as well as fractions and negative integers.

The Problems You’ll Work On

This chapter deals with the following types of problems:

Using powers to multiply a number by itself

Applying exponents to negative numbers and fractions

Understanding square roots

Knowing how to evaluate negative exponents and fractional exponents

What to Watch Out For

Following are some tips for working with powers and roots:

When you find the power of a number, multiply the base by itself as many times as indicated by the exponent. For example, .

When the base is a negative number, use the standard rules of multiplication for negative ...