Posted by **Felicity** on Monday, March 29, 2010 at 6:41pm.

Alright, so I'm doing questions on exponent laws for my grade 11 math couse, and I came across one and I've no idea how to answer it. Could someone please explain step by step? According to textbook, answer should be 16:

(2^3) / [(2^0)-(2^-1)]

That "-1" is a negative exponent in the last bit, just so you know.

- Maths -
**MathMate**, Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7:08pm
Some of the exponential laws state that:

a^{0}=1

a^{1}=a

a^{-b}=1/a^{b}

In your case, a=2 (the base).

So these laws should enable you to evaluate each term of the denominator.

The answer should indeed be 16.

I appreciate your having inserted sufficient parentheses to render the expression unambiguous.

- Maths -
**Felicity**, Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7:14pm
I hope I'm not asking too much, but it would be ace if you would type out the problem and the path to solving it just so I can compare and see where I'm going wrong?

- Maths -
**MathMate**, Monday, March 29, 2010 at 7:56pm
Here it is. Post if help is needed.

(2^3) / [(2^0)-(2^-1)]

=8/(2^0-2^-1)

=8/(1- 1/2¹)

=8/(1- 1/2)

=8/(1/2)

=16

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