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Introduction

In this chapter, you will learn about the short cuts to writing 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 . This is known as writing a number in exponential notation .

Definition

Exponential notation is a short way of writing the same number multiplied by itself many times. For example, instead of 5 × 5 × 5 , we write 5 3 to show that the number 5 is multiplied by itself 3 times and we say “5 to the power of 3”. Likewise 5 2 is 5 × 5 and 3 5 is 3 × 3 × 3 × 3 × 3 . We will now have a closer look at writing numbers using exponential notation.

Exponential Notation

Exponential notation means a number written like

a n

where n is an integer and a can be any real number. a is called the base and n is called the exponent or index .

The n th power of a is defined as:

a n = a × a × × a ( n times )

with a multiplied by itself n times.

We can also define what it means if we have a negative exponent - n . Then,

a - n = 1 a × a × × a ( n times )
Exponentials

If n is an even integer, then a n will always be positive for any non-zero real number a . For example, although - 2 is negative, ( - 2 ) 2 = - 2 × - 2 = 4 is positive and so is ( - 2 ) - 2 = 1 - 2 × - 2 = 1 4 .

Khan academy video on exponents - 1

Khan academy video on exponents-2

Laws of exponents

There are several laws we can use to make working with exponential numbers easier. Some of these laws might have been seen in earlier grades, but we will list all the laws here for easy reference and explain each law in detail, so that you can understand them and not only remember them.

a 0 = 1 a m × a n = a m + n a - n = 1 a n a m ÷ a n = a m - n ( a b ) n = a n b n ( a m ) n = a m n

Exponential law 1: a 0 = 1

Our definition of exponential notation shows that

a 0 = 1 , ( a 0 )

For example, x 0 = 1 and ( 1 000 000 ) 0 = 1 .

Application using exponential law 1: a 0 = 1 , ( a 0 )

  1. 16 0
  2. 16 a 0
  3. ( 16 + a ) 0
  4. ( - 16 ) 0
  5. - 16 0

Exponential law 2: a m × a n = a m + n

Khan academy video on exponents - 3

Our definition of exponential notation shows that

a m × a n = 1 × a × ... × a ( m times ) × 1 × a × ... × a ( n times ) = 1 × a × ... × a ( m + n times ) = a m + n

For example,

2 7 × 2 3 = ( 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 ) × ( 2 × 2 × 2 ) = 2 7 + 3 = 2 10

Interesting fact

This simple law is the reason why exponentials were originally invented. In the days before calculators, all multiplication had to be done by hand with a pencil and a pad of paper. Multiplication takes a very long time to do and is very tedious. Adding numbers however, is very easy and quick to do. If you look at what this law is saying you will realise that it means that adding the exponents of two exponential numbers (of the same base) is the same as multiplying the two numbers together. This meant that for certain numbers, there was no need to actually multiply the numbers together in order to find out what their multiple was. This saved mathematicians a lot of time, which they could use to do something more productive.

Application using exponential law 2: a m × a n = a m + n

  1. x 2 · x 5
  2. 2 3 . 2 4 [Take note that the base (2) stays the same.]
  3. 3 × 3 2 a × 3 2

Exponential law 3: a - n = 1 a n , a 0

Our definition of exponential notation for a negative exponent shows that

a - n = 1 ÷ a ÷ ... ÷ a ( n times ) = 1 1 × a × × a ( n times ) = 1 a n

This means that a minus sign in the exponent is just another way of showing that the whole exponential number is to be divided instead of multiplied.

Questions & Answers

Need help solving this problem (2/7)^-2
Simone Reply
what is the coefficient of -4×
Mehri Reply
-1
Shedrak
the operation * is x * y =x + y/ 1+(x × y) show if the operation is commutative if x × y is not equal to -1
Alfred Reply
An investment account was opened with an initial deposit of $9,600 and earns 7.4% interest, compounded continuously. How much will the account be worth after 15 years?
Kala Reply
lim x to infinity e^1-e^-1/log(1+x)
given eccentricity and a point find the equiation
Moses Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Alexandra Reply
12, 17, 22.... 25th term
Akash
College algebra is really hard?
Shirleen Reply
Absolutely, for me. My problems with math started in First grade...involving a nun Sister Anastasia, bad vision, talking & getting expelled from Catholic school. When it comes to math I just can't focus and all I can hear is our family silverware banging and clanging on the pink Formica table.
Carole
I'm 13 and I understand it great
AJ
I am 1 year old but I can do it! 1+1=2 proof very hard for me though.
Atone
hi
Adu
Not really they are just easy concepts which can be understood if you have great basics. I am 14 I understood them easily.
Vedant
find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
salma
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
Abhi
If f(x) = x-2 then, f(3) when 5f(x+1) 5((3-2)+1) 5(1+1) 5(2) 10
Augustine
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
make 5/4 into a mixed number, make that a decimal, and then multiply 32 by the decimal 5/4 turns out to be
AJ
how
Sheref
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
ninjadapaul
20/(×-6^2)
Salomon
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
ninjadapaul
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
ninjadapaul
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
Salomon
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
Salomon
I got X =-6
Salomon
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
ninjadapaul
oops. ignore that.
ninjadapaul
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
ninjadapaul
hmm
Abhi
is it a question of log
Abhi
🤔.
Abhi
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
salma
But this is not salma it's Faiza live in lousvile Ky I garbage this so I am going collage with JCTC that the of the collage thank you my friends
salma
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
hello
Sherica
im all ears I need to learn
Sherica
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
Tamia
hii
Uday
hi
salma
hi
Ayuba
Hello
opoku
hi
Ali
greetings from Iran
Ali
salut. from Algeria
Bach
hi
Nharnhar
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
A soccer field is a rectangle 130 meters wide and 110 meters long. The coach asks players to run from one corner to the other corner diagonally across. What is that distance, to the nearest tenths place.
Kimberly Reply
Jeannette has $5 and $10 bills in her wallet. The number of fives is three more than six times the number of tens. Let t represent the number of tens. Write an expression for the number of fives.
August Reply
What is the expressiin for seven less than four times the number of nickels
Leonardo Reply
How do i figure this problem out.
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
Shanjida
I think if critical temperature denote high temperature then a liquid stats boils that time the water stats to evaporate so some moles of h2o to up and due to high temp the bonding break they have low density so it can be a reason
s.
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Siyavula textbooks: grade 10 maths [ncs]. OpenStax CNX. Aug 05, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11239/1.2
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