Learn how to use exponents and bases. For example, writing 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 x 4 with an exponent.
Here's what an exponent and a base look like:
The small number written above and to the right of a number is called an exponent. The number underneath the exponent is called the base. In this example, the base is 4, and the exponent is 3.
Here's an example where the base is 7, and the exponent is 5:
An exponent tells us to multiply the base by itself that number of times. In our example, 43 tells us to multiply the base of 4 by itself 3 times:
Once we write out the multiplication problem, we can easily evaluate the expression. Let's do this for the example we've been working with:
The main reason we use exponents is because it's a shorter way to write out big numbers. For example, let's say we want to express the following:
That's really long to write. My hands hurt just from typing it! Instead we can see that 2 is multiplied by itself 6 times. This means we can write the same thing with 2 as the base and 6 as the exponent:
Cool, lets make sure we understand exponents by trying some practice problems.