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# Intro to exponents

Exponents represent repeated multiplication, making numbers grow quickly. For example, 2 to the 3rd power means multiplying three 2's together, resulting in 8. This concept differs from multiplication, which is simply repeated addition. Understanding exponents is essential for mastering higher-level math. Created by Sal Khan.

## Want to join the conversation?

• can you have an exponent that has a decimal or fraction like 5^4.8?
• Yes, it's like this:
4.8 = 4 4/5 = 24/5. So it's 5 √5 to the power of 24. So the answer is 1.
• What happens when an exponent is negative?
I don't really understand.
• leilaizarte, when you have a positive exponent, you are multiplying the base number by itself for as many times as the exponent indicates. For example, 10^3 is the same as 10 x 10 x 10, or 1000. Similarly, a negative exponent indicates how many times you must divide by that number. For example, 10^-3 is the same as 1 ÷ 10 ÷ 10 ÷ 10, or .001.
• So are Exponents like repeated multiplication?(-)
• yes you are correct
• () What are powers? I'm really confused...
• Its just another name for exponents for example 4^4 is said as four to the fourth power.
• I understand the smaller exponents but what about large ones such as 9^33 could you say 33^9 and it be the same awnser?
• 9^33 is going to be larger. Try it in a calculator :o

Exponentiation is not like multiplication in that you can swap the numbers and get the same answer. Exponentiation is not commutative.
• what is 23 to the 42 power
• How do I divide exsponents I don't get it
• To divide exponents with the same base, keep the base and subtract the exponents:
3^5 / 3^3
5 - 3 = 2 (This is our new exponent)
• when your multiplying like 2 x 2 x 2 do u always have to put the dot for multiplication in that situation?
• In algebra, there are many different symbols, and if you write like 2 x 2 x 2, people will think it it is variable if you write it down like that. If you are not doing algebra, you could do that, but it is not ideal.
Thanks
• Can I do any number to the power of a negative number?
Like, 3^ -2 ??