Solve an Exponential Equation: Take the log of both sides

Problem:  Solve the exponential equation.

16^{3x-3}=3^{x-3}

Solution:

 

The exponential equation
16^{3x-3}=3^{x-3}
Since the bases cannot be easily written the same, use the method of taking the log of both sides
ln (16^{3x-3})=ln (3^{x-3})
Use the power rule for logarithms.
(3x-3)ln16=(x-3)ln3
Use the distributive law
3xln16-3ln16=xln3-3ln3
Collect the terms with x to one side and collect the terms without x on the other side
3xln16-3ln16=xln3-3ln3
3xln16-3ln16+3ln16=xln3-3ln3+3ln16
3xln16-xln3=xln3-xln3-3ln3+3ln16
3xln16-xln3=-3ln3+3ln16
3xln16-xln3=3ln16-3ln3
Factor the common x
3xln16-xln3=3ln16-3ln3
x(3ln16-ln3)=3ln16-3ln3
Solve for x by dividing both sides by the factor in the parenthesis and simplify
x(3ln16-ln3)=3ln16-3ln3
{x(3ln16-ln3)}/{3ln16-ln3}={3ln16-3ln3}/{3ln16-ln3}
x={3ln16-3ln3}/{3ln16-ln3}
The solution
x={3ln16-3ln3}/{3ln16-ln3}
x = 0.6956

When you type this into a calculator be sure to use parenthesis around the numerator and around the denominator.  Here is an example of how you might enter it.

(3ln(16)-3ln(3))/(3ln(16)-ln(3))