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# Lesson 5.3 - James Rahn

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```Lesson 5.3
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In this lesson you will investigate fractional
and other rational exponents.
Keep in mind that all of the properties you
learned in the last lesson apply to this larger
class of exponents as well.
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In this investigation youвЂ™ll explore the relationship
between x and x1/2 and learn how to find the values
of some expressions with rational exponents.
Use your calculator to create a table for y=x1/2 at
integer values of x. When is x1/2 a positive integer?
Describe the relationship between x and x1/2.
Graph y=x1/2 in a graphing window with x- and yvalues less than 10. This graph should look familiar
to you. Make a conjecture about what other function
is equivalent to y=x1/2, enter your guess as a second
equation, and verify that the equations give the same
y-value at each x-value.
State what you have discovered about raising a
number to a power of 1/2 . Include an example with
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Clear the previous functions, and make a table
for y=25x with x incrementing by 1/2 .
Study your table and explain any relationships
you see. How could you find the value of 493/2
calculator.
How could you find the value of 272/3 without a
calculator? Verify your response and then test
Describe what it means to raise a number to a
rational exponent, and generalize a procedure
for simplifying am/n.
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Rational exponents with numerator 1 indicate
positive roots. For example, x1/5 is the same
as 5 x or the вЂњfifth root of x,вЂќ and x1/n is the
same as n x , or the вЂњnth root of x.вЂќ
The fifth root of x is the number that, raised
to the power 5, gives x.
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For rational exponents with numerators other
than 1, such as 93/2, the numerator is
interpreted as the exponent to which to raise
the root. That is, 93/2 is the same as
9
.
1
2
3
or
9
3
3
, or 3 =27
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Recall that properties of exponents give only
one solution to an equation, because they are
defined only for positive bases.
Will negative values of a, b, or c satisfy any of
the equations in Example A?
4
?
пЂ­38416 пЂЅ 14
пЂЁ
9
3
пЂ­ 4 .2 3 7
8 ?
3
?
( пЂ­ 3 5 2 .3 3) пЂЅ 3 5 2 .3 3
пЂЅ 47
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In the previous lesson, you learned that
functions in the general form y=axn are
power functions.
A rational function, such as y пЂЅ 9 x 5 , is
considered to be a power function because it
can be rewritten as y=x5/9. All the
transformations you discovered for parabolas
and square root curves also apply to any
function that can be written in the general
form y=axn.
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Remember that the equation of a line can be
written using the point-slope form if you
know a point on the line and the slope
between points.
Similarly, the equation for an exponential
curve can be written using point-ratio form if
you know a point on the curve and the
common ratio between points that are 1
horizontal unit apart.
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You have seen that if x=0, then y=a in the
general exponential equation y=abx.
This means that a is the initial value of the
function at time 0 (the y-intercept) and b is
the growth or decay ratio. This is consistent
with the point-ratio form because when you
substitute the point (0, a) into the equation,
you get y=abx-0, or y=abx.
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Casey hit the bell in the school clock tower. Her
pressure reader, held nearby, measured the sound
intensity, or loudness, at 40 lb/in2 after 4 s had
elapsed and at 4.7 lb/in2 after 7.2 s had elapsed.
She remembers from her science class that sound
decays exponentially.
Name two points that the exponential curve must
pass through.
Time is the independent variable, x, and
loudness is the dependent variable, y, so the two
points are (4, 40) and (7.2, 4.7).
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Casey hit the bell in the school clock tower. Her
pressure reader, held nearby, measured the sound
intensity, or loudness, at 40 lb/in2 after 4 s had
elapsed and at 4.7 lb/in2 after 7.2 s had elapsed.
She remembers from her science class that sound
decays exponentially.
Find an exponential equation that models these
data.
Start by substituting the coordinates of each of
the two points into the point-ratio form, y пЂЅ y 1 (b x -x )
1
y пЂЅ 40b
x -4
a n d y пЂЅ 4 .7 b
x -7 .2
You donвЂ™t yet know what b is.
If you were given y-values for two consecutive
integer points, you could divide to find the
ratio. In this case, however, there are 3.2
horizontal units between the two points you are
given, so youвЂ™ll need to solve for b.
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Casey hit the bell in the school clock tower.
Her pressure reader, held nearby, measured
the sound intensity, or loudness, at 40 lb/in2
after 4 s had elapsed and at 4.7 lb/in2 after
7.2 s had elapsed. She remembers from her
science class that sound decays
exponentially.
How loud was the bell when it was struck (at
0 s)?
y п‚» 4 0 (0 .5 1 2 1 )
0 -4
= 5 8 1 lb s
in
2
```
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