# Equations with Exponents of Negative Numbers or Variables

In the Equations dialog box, if you use an equation that includes the exponent of a negative number, or the exponent of a negative global variable, you should use parentheses to guarantee correct results. For example, to solve the equation "c" = -3^2 the software first resolves the exponentiation operator (^), that is:

  "c" = -3^2
= -(3^2)
= -(9)



Next, it resolves the unary negation operator (-):

 "c" = (-3)^2
= 9


If a global variable has a negative value and you want to calculate an exponent, include parentheses around the global variable in the equation. For example, if you have a global variable "b" = -4, and you want an equation to calculate its square, use "c" = (b)^2. Then the equation is solved as:

 "c" = (b)^2
= (-4)^2
= 16

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