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An exponent, or a power, is mathematical shorthand for repeated multiplications. For example, the exponent “2” means to multiply the base for that exponent by itself (in the example here, the base is “5”):
The exponent is “2” and the base is the number “5.” This expression (multiplying a number by itself) is also called a square. Any number raised to the power of 2 is being squared. Any number raised to the power of 3 is being cubed:
A number raised to the fourth power is equal to that number multiplied by itself four times, and so on for higher powers. In general:
A percent is a way of expressing a fractional amount of something using a whole divided into 100 parts. A percent is a ratio whose denominator is 100. We use the percent symbol, %, to show percent. Thus, 25% means a ratio of $\frac{25}{100}$ , 3% means a ratio of $\frac{3}{100}$ , and 100 % percent means $\frac{100}{100}$ , or a whole.
A percent can be converted to a fraction by writing the value of the percent as a fraction with a denominator of 100 and simplifying the fraction if possible.
A percent can be converted to a decimal by writing the value of the percent as a fraction with a denominator of 100 and dividing the numerator by the denominator.
To convert a decimal to a percent, write the decimal as a fraction. If the denominator of the fraction is not 100, convert it to a fraction with a denominator of 100, and then write the fraction as a percent.
To convert a fraction to a percent, first convert the fraction to a decimal, and then convert the decimal to a percent.
Suppose a researcher finds that 15 out of 23 students in a class are carriers of Neisseria meningitides . What percentage of students are carriers? To find this value, first express the numbers as a fraction.
Then divide the numerator by the denominator.
Finally, to convert a decimal to a percent, multiply by 100.
The percent of students who are carriers is 65%.
You might also get data on occurrence and non-occurrence; for example, in a sample of students, 9 tested positive for Toxoplasma antibodies, while 28 tested negative. What is the percentage of seropositive students? The first step is to determine the “whole,” of which the positive students are a part. To do this, sum the positive and negative tests.
The whole sample consisted of 37 students. The fraction of positives is:
To find the percent of students who are carriers, divide the numerator by the denominator and multiply by 100.
The percent of positive students is about 24%.
Another way to think about calculating a percent is to set up equivalent fractions, one of which is a fraction with 100 as the denominator, and cross-multiply. The previous example would be expressed as:
Now, cross multiply and solve for the unknown:
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