Reciprocals (Mathematics Glossary)
What Is a Reciprocal?
The reciprocal of a quantity is the result of dividing 1 by that quantity.
Dictionary DefinitionThe Oxford English Dictionary defines a reciprocal as "based on an inverse relationship."
Real Examples of Reciprocals
The reciprocal can't be found for numbers, letters and more complicated quantities, like terms and expressions.
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Reciprocals of Fractions
To find the reciprocal of a fraction, 1 is divided by the fraction.
Dividing 1 by a fraction turns the fraction upside down.
Read more about how to find the reciprocal of a fraction
Exponent Notation For a Reciprocals
To denote the reciprocal of a quantity, place -1 to the top-right of the quantity. This is an exponent of -1.
Multiplying a Quantity With Its Reciprocal Equals 1
Multiplying a quantity with its reciprocal equals 1.
Be Careful With Notation
Sometimes brackets are needed to indicate which part of a term is a reciprocal.
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