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Dividing Monomials

Objective

Introduce the notion of dividing monomials, and the idea of zero and negative numbers as exponents.

Note to the Teacher It is a good idea to allow students to experiment with computing quotients of powers of 2 in order to discover the formula for division of powers. Also, when introducing negative powers, make it clear that the definition is based on patterns, but that it does not mean that we can really take a “product of a negative number of factors.”

**Dividing Powers of the Same Number
**

To understand division of powers, look at the table at the right. It shows the results when 64, which equals 26, is divided by various powers of 2. Ask students if they see a pattern in these numbers. Lead the class to the conclusion that the result is found by subtracting the exponents. Next, do an example with a variable.

n

1

26 ᎏᎏ 2n

26 ᎏᎏ 21 26 ᎏᎏ 22 26 ᎏᎏ 23 26 ᎏᎏ 24 26 ᎏᎏ 25 26 ᎏᎏ 26 64 ᎏᎏ 2 64 ᎏᎏ 4 64 ᎏᎏ 8 64 ᎏᎏ 16 64 ᎏᎏ 32 64 ᎏᎏ 64

64 ᎏᎏ 2n

ϭ 32 or 25 ϭ 16 or 24 ϭ 8 or 23 ϭ 4 or 22 ϭ 2 or 21 ϭ 1 or 20

2

3

4

5

6

Example 1 Divide x4 by x2.

Solution Expand x4 into x и x и x и x and x2 into x и x. Then use these expressions to write a fraction.

xиxиxиx ᎏᎏ xиx

**Now cancel two of the x’s from both numerator and denominator.
**

xиxиxиx ᎏᎏ xиx

1 1 1 1

xиx 2 ϭᎏ ᎏϭx 1

© Glencoe/McGraw-Hill

Note to the Teacher Make sure to explain that “cancellation” just means recognizing that xиxиxиx ᎏᎏ xиx xиx 1 xиx xи x 1 1 1 1 ϭ ᎏᎏ и ᎏᎏ ϭ x и x и 1. y25 Example 5 Simplify z z Solution ᎏᎏ ϭ ᎏᎏ 1 z z 10 10 z10 ᎏᎏ. point out that any number raised to the power 1 is that number itself. If we divide a power of a number or variable by another (smaller) power of the same number or variable. xm ᎏᎏ ϭ x mϪn xn Quotient of Powers for m Ͼ n Write the quotient and expand the numerator and the denominator into products of x’s. the result is the original number raised to the power given by the difference of the two original powers. Students should understand that canceling is just shorthand for a process involving the properties of fractions. Also. m factors x x и x и иии и x ᎏᎏ n ϭ ᎏᎏ x x и x и иии и x m m Ϫ n factors ϭ x и x и иии и x ᎏᎏ 1 n factors x и x и иии и x и ᎏᎏ x и x и иии и x m Ϫ n factors n factors This shows that the formula for the quotient of powers is valid. 81 ϭ 35Ϫ4 ϭ 31 or 3 y100 ᎏᎏ. z ϭy 75 ϭ z10Ϫ1 ϭ z9 © Glencoe/McGraw-Hill . Example 2 Simplify 5 x5 ᎏᎏ . x2 n factors x ϭ x5Ϫ2 Solution ᎏᎏ 2 x Example 4 Simplify 100 y ᎏ ϭ y100Ϫ25 Solution ᎏ2 5 y ϭx 3 Example 3 Simplify 243 3 Solution ᎏᎏ ϭ ᎏᎏ 4 81 3 5 ϭ x и x и иии и x и 1 ϭ xmϪn 243 ᎏᎏ.

What would the formula ᎏᎏ n ϭ a a m let m ϭ 1 and n ϭ 2. Zero Exponent a0 is defined to be equal to 1. a a ᎏ ϭ 1. Remind students that when m Ͼ n. am ᎏᎏ ϭ amϪn. am a1 ᎏᎏ n ϭ ᎏᎏ a a2 ϭ a1Ϫ2 ϭ aϪ1 On the other hand. a mϪn suggest if m Ͻ n? For example. since any number divided by itself is 1.This formula can be used to simplify any quotient of monomials. then we get am ᎏm ᎏ ϭ amϪm ϭ a0. a a1 ᎏᎏ ϭ ᎏᎏ aиa a2 1 1 a 1 ϭ ᎏᎏ и ᎏᎏ ϭ 1 и ᎏᎏ ϭ ᎏᎏ. it suggests that a Ϫn should be defined to be 1 ᎏᎏ . not for zero or for negative numbers. On the other hand. an If we let m ϭ n. ᎏm a m This leads to the following definition. 7x y2 c abc a b ϭ ᎏᎏ и ᎏᎏ и ᎏᎏ Solution ᎏᎏ 3 3 ab a b 4x7y6 4 x7 y6 ᎏ ϭ ᎏᎏ и ᎏᎏ и ᎏᎏ Solution ᎏ2 2 2 2 7 x y 4 ϭ ᎏᎏx7Ϫ2y6Ϫ2 7 4 ϭ ᎏᎏx5y4 7 ϭ a5Ϫ1b6Ϫ3c ϭ a4b3c Negative Numbers and Zero in the Exponent Point out that we have only defined exponentiation by positive integers. More generally. a a a a 1 So. the formula suggests that aϪ1 should be defined to be ᎏᎏ. Example 6 Simplify 5 6 a5b6c ᎏᎏ . an a © Glencoe/McGraw-Hill . ab3 5 6 Example 7 Simplify 1 7x y 4x7y6 ᎏ2 ᎏ.

but that once we make the definition. The definition of negative exponents can be used to simplify quotients of monomials. 2a5b3c7 2 9 7 3a b c 3 a b c Solution ᎏ 5ᎏ 3 7 ϭ ᎏᎏ и ᎏᎏ 5 и ᎏᎏ 3 и ᎏᎏ 7 2a b c 2 a b c ϭ ᎏᎏ a2Ϫ5b9Ϫ3c7Ϫ7 ϭ ᎏᎏ aϪ3b6c0 ϭ ᎏᎏ 3 3b6 2a 3 2 3 2 End of Lesson © Glencoe/McGraw-Hill . a Note to the Teacher At this point. we can work with these exponents in exactly the same way that we did with positive exponents. Example 8 Simplify 2 9 7 3a2b9c7 ᎏ ᎏ. Emphasize that with this definition. Point out that it was used only as a guide to suggest what a definition should be. these exponents satisfy all the laws of exponents that students studied in Lesson 9-1.Negative Exponents 1 aϪn is defined to be equal to ᎏᎏ n. students may be confused by the way the formula was used to generate a definition for negative powers.

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