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3.1 Multiplying powers

3.1 Multiplying powers


When starting out with multiplying powers, expand the powers, and then multiply.

For example, a^2*a^3=(a*a)*(a*a*a)=a*a*a*a*a=a^5

Another example, 7x^2*5x^2=(7*x*x)*(5*x*x)=(7*5)*(x*x*x*x)=35x^4

Be careful if the question asks you to add or multiply the powers.

  • For example, if asked 2a^2+3a^2, since the powers are both squared (i.e. little 2 at the top), you can add the coefficients, i.e. 2a^2+3a^2=(2+3)a^2=5a^2
  • Alternatively, if asked 2a^2*3a^2, expand and multiply as before, i.e. =(2*3)*(a*a)*(a*a)=6a^4