Algebra II : Radicals as Exponents

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Algebra II

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Radicals As Exponents

Which of the following answer choices best simplifies ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The first step to simplifying a problem like this one is to convert all radicals to fractional exponents. Remember the following relationship:

Also keep in mind your exponent rules, especially this one:

Now, let's get started on this problem. First, we change that radical expression into something with fractional exponents instead.

Now we use our exponent rules to simplify the numerator.

Finally, we simplify the entire fraction:

We can leave it like this, but it would be better to write it this way, without negative exponents:

 

Example Question #2 : Radicals As Exponents

Simplify:

You may assume that the radicand is nonnegative.

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

The polynomial , being a polynomial of degree 2, cannot be a cube of another polynomial. Also, it does not fit the pattern of a perfect square binomial, since its constant term is negative. Therefore, we cannot extract a root of the polynomial to help to simplify it.

We can, however, rewrite each root as a fractional exponent, apply the power of a power property, then convert back, as follows:

Example Question #3 : Radicals As Exponents

Simplify: 

You may assume that  is a nonnegative real number.

Possible Answers:

  

Correct answer:

  

Explanation:

The best way to simplify a radical within a radical is to rewrite each root as a fractional exponent, then convert back.

First, rewrite the roots as exponents.

We can simplify this further:

Example Question #4 : Radicals As Exponents

What is the value of ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Recall that when you have a fractional exponent, this means that you have a root involved.  The denominator of the exponent is the type of root.  Our question's exponent is:

Therefore, the root is  or a square root.

The numerator is the power for the base.  Therefore, we can rewrite our problem as:

Now, to simplify this, we could do:

Using our exponent rules, this is:

Factoring out  sets of , we get:

, or 

 

Example Question #5 : Radicals As Exponents

What is the value of ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Recall that when you have a fractional exponent, this means that you have a root involved.  The denominator of the exponent is the type of root.  Our question's exponent is:

Therefore, the root is  or a cube root.

The numerator is the power for the base.  Therefore, we can rewrite our problem as:

Now, to simplify this, we could do:

Using our exponent rules, this is:

Factoring out  sets of  and  set of , we get:

Example Question #6 : Radicals As Exponents

What is the value of ?

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Recall that when you have a fractional exponent, this means that you have a root involved.  The denominator of the exponent is the type of root.  Our question's exponent is:

Therefore, the root is  or a cube root.

The numerator is the power for the base.  Therefore, we can rewrite our problem as:

Now, to simplify this, we could do:

We can factor out a set of .  This leaves us with:

Simplifying, this is:

Example Question #7 : Radicals As Exponents

Which of the following is equivalent to 

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Recall that the cube root of a number is the number that when multiplied by itself 3 times, yields your number. 

Thus, we want y, where: 

Consider 

That cannot be our solution. 

 

Then try 

Thus, this must be our solution. 

 

Next time, remember that radicals can be represented by fractional exponents! 

Example Question #8 : Radicals As Exponents

Choose the best answer.  Reduce the following in exponential form:    

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

Simplify the inner term within the parentheses.

Example Question #9 : Radicals As Exponents

Simplify,

Possible Answers:

can't be simplified

Correct answer:

Explanation:

 

First write the square root of  as an exponent, 

 

From the rules of exponents we know we can simplyfy by adding the exponents, 

 

 

Example Question #10 : Radicals As Exponents

Simplify:

Possible Answers:

Correct answer:

Explanation:

To simplify the expression, we must remember that a fraction as a power denotes a radical: the numerator is the power to which the term is taken inside the radical, and the denominator denotes the degree of the root (i.e. 2 means square root, 3 means cube root, etc.)

Rewriting our expression, we get

which expanded becomes

Now, move the cubes outside of the cube root, after taking their cube root, leaving behind the terms that aren't cubes:

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