My TI-85 must be in some sort of mode that allows it to do this: when I square a negative number, I get a negative answer. I also get a negative answer with any exponent (including all even exponents). Please help, I want it to properly show me positive answers to a negative number to an even exponent. Thanks!
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If you want the answer in rectangular form, set MODE a+bi and tap ENTER and QUIT. Tap square root sign, tap (-)4 and close the parenthesis and tap ENTER. The answer is shown as 2i.
If you want the answer in polar form, set MODE to re^xi and and DEGREE. Tap ENTER and QUIT. Tap the square root sign, tap (-)4, close the parenthesis, and tap ENTER. The answer shown is 2e^90i. (2 at ninety degrees). If you selected RADIAN mode, the answer would be 2e^1.57i (2 at 1.57 radians; or 2 at pi/2 radians)
when you type -2 imagine your calculator doing the equation: -1 x 2. The - sign actually stands for a -1 so when you do -2 squared your calculator is simply following order of operations. It first squares the 2 making it 4, then it multiplies the negative making it -4. In order to get around this you must use parenthese. (-2)^2.
Your calculator will square a number before it applies the negative sign, so what you're actually doing is squaring 2, then applying the - sign to your answer. You need to put the -2 in parenthesis, so (-2)^2. That will give you 4.
Hope this helps!