# Mathematics - Factoring Fractional Exponents

This is a discussion on Mathematics - Factoring Fractional Exponents within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; Originally Posted by Psychlow Personally, I'd think -4 should be listed as an answer on that equation. Last I checked, ...

1. Originally Posted by Psychlow
Personally, I'd think -4 should be listed as an answer on that equation. Last I checked, -4 was part of the real number set.
-4 is a real number, yes, but you need complex numbers to make x^(-1/2) defined for negative values of x.

It was arguments like this that introduced the complex numbers. Obviously, the first equation has a root -4, but we cannot insert x=-4 without complex numbers.

EDIT: The book is still wrong.

2. I know I said I would put the proof back in the post, but for all my searching I can not find the proof. I'm glad you all figured it out with out me putting that back in. Thanks again for everybody's input.
Psychlow - good to see you finally posting on the best forum around.
Now if you could only get away from writing in VB.
;0) hehehehe
Just Joking. VB has a purpose, I haven't found it yet, but it does.

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