Date: Mon, 30 Nov 1998 21:17:21 -0600 (CST) To: QandQ@MathCentral.uregina.ca Subject: integers Name: Derek Who is asking: Student Level: Middle Question: Dear Mister/Mrs. Math Expert, I would like to know why any number to the exponent 0 equals to 1 also, I would like you to please answer this question: -(4)^0 = ? I know the answer is 1 but I am confused as to if it is a negative one or a positive one. THANKS FOR YOUR HELP :) MISTER/Mrs. MATH EXPERT :) FROM: DEREK Hi Derek There is a note called 15 to the zero in the Quandaries and Queries section of Math Central that answers your first question.    Your question about -4 is delicate, you have to be very careful with the notation. When evaluating a mathematical expression the convention is to first perform any operations that are inside parentheses, then any exponentiations followed by division, multiplication, subtraction and addition in that order. When you consider -(4)^0 you need to perform the exponentiation first, and since 4^0 = 1 then the final answer is -1. However if you write (-4)^0 then the (-4) has exponent 0. But (-4)^0 = 1 because y^0 = 1 when y is any number (other than 0). Cheers, Jack and Penny. Go to Math Central To return to the previous page use your browser's back button.
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