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Collecting Non-integer Exponents

Q: I want to deal with an expression containing non-integer powers of x, such as
[Graphics:../Images/index_gr_55.gif]
[Graphics:../Images/index_gr_56.gif]
However, when I try
[Graphics:../Images/index_gr_57.gif]
[Graphics:../Images/index_gr_58.gif]
it appears that Collect only works with integers. Is there a way to deal with this situation?
A: Daniel Lichtblau (danl@wolfram.com) answers: One way to perform the Collect is to allow a pattern variable for the exponent. This will in effect create a separate "variable" for each distinct power, and this suffices to do what you want in this particular example.
[Graphics:../Images/index_gr_59.gif]
[Graphics:../Images/index_gr_60.gif]


Converted by Mathematica      September 29, 1999

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