Calculating with Negative Indices

## Calculating with Negative Indices

A negative index indicates that the value is a reciprocal of the number.

Write the number as a denominator, changing the negative index to a positive index. Set the numerator to 1.

For example, 2-2 can also be written as frac(1)(2^2) which evaluates to frac(1)(4).

## Example 1

Calculate 42 ÷ 26. Write the answer as a fraction.

Rewrite the question as (22)2 ÷ 26

Evaluate to 24 ÷ 26

= 2(4-6)

= 2-2

= frac(1)(2^2) = frac(1)(4)

Answer: frac(1)(4)

## Example 2

Calculate 52 ÷ 5-2.

5(2 - -2) = 54.