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Powers of fractions

Raising fractions to a power is a fundamental math skill. To do this, simply multiply the numerators and denominators separately. For example, when raising a fraction like 2/3 to the third power, multiply the numerators (2 × 2 × 2 = 8) and the denominators (3 × 3 × 3 = 27) to get the result 8/27. This method applies to all powers, making it easy to understand and apply. Created by Sal Khan.

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Video transcript

Let's go through more exponent examples. So to warm up, let's think about taking a fraction to some power. So let's say I have 2/3, and I want to raise it to the third power here. Now, we've already learned there are two ways of thinking about this. One way is to say let's take three 2/3's. So that's one 2/3, two 2/3's, and three 2/3's. So that's one, two, three, 2/3. And then we multiply them. And we will get-- let's see, the numerator will be 2 times 2 times 2, which is 8. And the denominator's going to be 3 times 3 times 3 times 3, which is equal to 27. Now, the other way of viewing this is you start with a 1, and you multiply it by 2/3 three times. So you multiply by 2/3 once, twice, three times. You will get the exact same result here. So let's do one more example like that. So lets say I had 4/9, and I want to square it. When I raise something to the second power, people often say, you're squaring it. Also, raising something to the third power, people sometimes say, you're cubing it. But let's raise 4/9 to the second power. Let's square it. And I encourage you to pause the video and work this out yourself. Well, once again, you could view this as taking two 4/9's and multiplying them. Or you could view this as starting with a 1, and multiplying it by 4/9 two times. Either way, your numerator is going to be 4 times 4, which is 16. And your denominator is going to be 9 times 9, which is equal to 81.