# Use the quotient and power rules for logarithms

For quotients, we have a similar rule for logarithms. Recall that we use the *quotient rule of exponents* to combine the quotient of exponents by subtracting: [latex]{x}^{\frac{a}{b}}={x}^{a-b}[/latex]. The **quotient rule for logarithms** says that the logarithm of a quotient is equal to a difference of logarithms. Just as with the product rule, we can use the inverse property to derive the quotient rule.

Given any real number *x *and positive real numbers *M*, *N*, and *b*, where [latex]b\ne 1[/latex], we will show

Let [latex]m={\mathrm{log}}_{b}M[/latex] and [latex]n={\mathrm{log}}_{b}N[/latex]. In exponential form, these equations are [latex]{b}^{m}=M[/latex] and [latex]{b}^{n}=N[/latex]. It follows that

For example, to expand [latex]\mathrm{log}\left(\frac{2{x}^{2}+6x}{3x+9}\right)[/latex], we must first express the quotient in lowest terms. Factoring and canceling we get,

Next we apply the quotient rule by subtracting the logarithm of the denominator from the logarithm of the numerator. Then we apply the product rule.

### A General Note: The Quotient Rule for Logarithms

The **quotient rule for logarithms** can be used to simplify a logarithm or a quotient by rewriting it as the difference of individual logarithms.

### How To: Given the logarithm of a quotient, use the quotient rule of logarithms to write an equivalent difference of logarithms.

- Express the argument in lowest terms by factoring the numerator and denominator and canceling common terms.
- Write the equivalent expression by subtracting the logarithm of the denominator from the logarithm of the numerator.
- Check to see that each term is fully expanded. If not, apply the product rule for logarithms to expand completely.

### Example 2: Using the Quotient Rule for Logarithms

Expand [latex]{\mathrm{log}}_{2}\left(\frac{15x\left(x - 1\right)}{\left(3x+4\right)\left(2-x\right)}\right)[/latex].

### Solution

First we note that the quotient is factored and in lowest terms, so we apply the quotient rule.

Notice that the resulting terms are logarithms of products. To expand completely, we apply the product rule, noting that the prime factors of the factor 15 are 3 and 5.

### Try It 2

Expand [latex]{\mathrm{log}}_{3}\left(\frac{7{x}^{2}+21x}{7x\left(x - 1\right)\left(x - 2\right)}\right)[/latex].

Solution## Using the Power Rule for Logarithms

We’ve explored the product rule and the quotient rule, but how can we take the logarithm of a power, such as [latex]{x}^{2}[/latex]? One method is as follows:

Notice that we used the **product rule for logarithms** to find a solution for the example above. By doing so, we have derived the **power rule for logarithms**, which says that the log of a power is equal to the exponent times the log of the base. Keep in mind that, although the input to a logarithm may not be written as a power, we may be able to change it to a power. For example,

### A General Note: The Power Rule for Logarithms

The **power rule for logarithms** can be used to simplify the logarithm of a power by rewriting it as the product of the exponent times the logarithm of the base.

### How To: Given the logarithm of a power, use the power rule of logarithms to write an equivalent product of a factor and a logarithm.

- Express the argument as a power, if needed.
- Write the equivalent expression by multiplying the exponent times the logarithm of the base.

### Example 3: Expanding a Logarithm with Powers

Expand [latex]{\mathrm{log}}_{2}{x}^{5}[/latex].

### Solution

The argument is already written as a power, so we identify the exponent, 5, and the base, *x*, and rewrite the equivalent expression by multiplying the exponent times the logarithm of the base.

### Try It 3

Expand [latex]\mathrm{ln}{x}^{2}[/latex].

Solution### Example 4: Rewriting an Expression as a Power before Using the Power Rule

Expand [latex]{\mathrm{log}}_{3}\left(25\right)[/latex] using the power rule for logs.

### Solution

Expressing the argument as a power, we get [latex]{\mathrm{log}}_{3}\left(25\right)={\mathrm{log}}_{3}\left({5}^{2}\right)[/latex].

Next we identify the exponent, 2, and the base, 5, and rewrite the equivalent expression by multiplying the exponent times the logarithm of the base.

### Try It 4

Expand [latex]\mathrm{ln}\left(\frac{1}{{x}^{2}}\right)[/latex].

Solution### Example 5: Using the Power Rule in Reverse

Rewrite [latex]4\mathrm{ln}\left(x\right)[/latex] using the power rule for logs to a single logarithm with a leading coefficient of 1.

### Solution

Because the logarithm of a power is the product of the exponent times the logarithm of the base, it follows that the product of a number and a logarithm can be written as a power. For the expression [latex]4\mathrm{ln}\left(x\right)[/latex], we identify the factor, 4, as the exponent and the argument, *x*, as the base, and rewrite the product as a logarithm of a power:

### Try It 5

Rewrite [latex]2{\mathrm{log}}_{3}4[/latex] using the power rule for logs to a single logarithm with a leading coefficient of 1.

Solution## Licenses & Attributions

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- Precalculus.
**Provided by:**OpenStax**Authored by:**Jay Abramson, et al..**Located at:**https://openstax.org/books/precalculus/pages/1-introduction-to-functions.**License:**CC BY: Attribution.**License terms:**Download For Free at : http://cnx.org/contents/[email protected]..

## Analysis of the Solution

There are exceptions to consider in this and later examples. First, because denominators must never be zero, this expression is not defined for [latex]x=-\frac{4}{3}[/latex] and

x= 2. Also, since the argument of a logarithm must be positive, we note as we observe the expanded logarithm, thatx> 0,x> 1, [latex]x>-\frac{4}{3}[/latex], andx< 2. Combining these conditions is beyond the scope of this section, and we will not consider them here or in subsequent exercises.