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MathGroup Archive 2006

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Is -1^(2/5) really undefined in R?

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg69075] Is -1^(2/5) really undefined in R?
  • From: Ben <ben.carbery at>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2006 04:47:34 -0400 (EDT)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Is -1^(2/5) really undefined in R?

Mathematica seems to think so, I guess since it looks like a negative square root, but

-1^(2/5) = (-1^2)^(1/5) = 1^(1/5) = 1

Is this correct mathematically?



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