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.
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