Exponents... Well, I'm not really good at it could you give me some important pointers?

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justaguide's profile pic

justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

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If x and y are two real numbers, it is possible to create a real number `N = x^y` . Here x is said to be raised to the power y. x is the base and y is the exponent.

`x^y` implies multiplying x with itself y number of time. For example 2^3 = 2*2*2. If y is not a whole number, the terms involved in the product are a part of x. For example `8^(1/3) = 2`

There are some general properties that are widely used when working with exponents. If N, x and y are real numbers:

`N^(x + y) = N^x*N^y`

`N^(x- y) = N^x/N^y`

`(N^x)^y = N^(x*y)`

When any non-zero real number is raised to the power 0, the result is 1.

atyourservice's profile pic

atyourservice | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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Some important pointers I would give is that when something is the the 2nd power it is the same as multiplying the number by itself:

`5^2 = 5 xx 5 = 25`

A problem to the first power means that it is being multiplied by 5

`5^1 = 5 xx 1 = 5`

To the 0 power is always 1, no matter what. A problem to the 0 power is 1

`5^0 = 1`

rachellopez's profile pic

rachellopez | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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An exponent, or a power, is a short way of writing repeated multiplication. For example, if the number 5 is raised to the 2nd power (`5^2`), you are multiplying 5 by itself twice (5*5). Both ` 5^2 ` and 5*5 equal 25.

If your exponent is a negative number, your answer will be a fraction (or a decimal). For example, `5^(-2) = (1)/(25) `.

If your exponent is a fraction, it can be rewritten as a root. For example, `25^(1/2)=sqrt(25)=5 `

kingoftimothy's profile pic

kingoftimothy | eNotes Newbie

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An exponent is a quantity representing the power to which a given number or expression is to be raised, usually expressed as a raised symbol beside the number or expression. It is easy wants you get the hang of it. All you need to do is multiply the main number by itself as many times as the small number (exponents) says. If the main number is 10, then add as many zeroes to the end of the number 1 as many times the exponent says.

For example:  59 x 105 =5,900,000 because their should be 5 zeroes at the end of 59.

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