In Power of powers, we learnt the process of how to simplify a term expressed as the power of a power.

The power of a power law

For any base number $a$a, and any numbers $m$m and $n$n as powers,

$\left(a^m\right)^n=a^{m\times n}$(am)n=am×n

That is, when simplifying a term with a power that itself has a power:

Keep the same base

Find the product of the powers

Here we will look at powers that have variable bases, and also a mix of variable and integer bases. Since "powers of powers" involve expressions with brackets, it's important to remember that everythinginsidethebrackets is raised to the outside power.

Exploration

Let's say we want to simplify the expression $\left(2x^2\right)^3$(2x2)3:

A common mistake is to only apply the outside power to the algebraic term. If we did this, we would get an answer of $2x^{2\times3}=2x^6$2x2×3=2x6, which is not correct.

Consider the expression in expanded form: $\left(2x^2\right)^3=2x^2\times2x^2\times2x^2$(2x2)3=2x2×2x2×2x2