# Exponent

views updated May 14 2018

# Exponent

Exponents are numbers that indicate the operation of exponentiation on a number or variable. In the simplest case, an exponent that is a positive integer indicates that multiplication of a number or variable is to be repeated a certain number of times. For instance, 5 × 5 × 5 is written as 53 (usually read as 5 cubed or 5 to the third power). Similarly, x × x × x × x is written x4. The number that is to be multiplied repeatedly is called the base. The number of times that the base appears in the product is the number represented by the exponent. In the previous examples, 5 and x are the bases, and 3 and 4 are the exponents. The process of repeated multiplication is often referred to as raising a number to a power. Thus the entire expression 53 is five raised to the third power.

Exponents have a number of useful properties:

1) xa . xb = x(a+b)

2) xa ÷ xb = x(a-b)

3) xa = 1/xa

4) xa . ya = (xy)a

5) (xa)b + x(ab)

6)

Any of the properties of exponents are easily verified for natural-number exponents by expanding the exponential notation in the form of a product. For example, property number (1) is easily verified for the example x3x2 as follows:

x3×x2 = (x×x×x)×(x×x)
=(x×x×x×x×x) = x5 = x(3+2)

Property (5) is verified for the specific case x2y2 in the same fashion:

x2y2 = (x×x)×(y×y) = (x×y×x×y)
=(x×x)×(x×y) = (xy)2

Exponents are not limited to the natural numbers. For example, property (3) shows that a base raised to a negative exponent is the same as the multiplicative inverse of (1 over) the base raised to the positive value of the same exponent. Thus 2-2 = 1/22 = 1/4.

Property (6) shows how the operation of exponentiation is extended to the rational numbers. Note that unit-fraction exponents, such as 1/3 or 1/2, are simply roots; that is, 125 to the 1/3 power is the same as the cube root of 125, while 49 to 1/2 power is the same as the square root of 49.

By keeping properties (1) through (6) as central, the operation is extended to all real-number exponents and even to complex-number exponents. For a given base the real-number exponents map into a continuous curve.

# Exponent

views updated May 14 2018

# Exponent

Exponents are numerals that indicate an operation on a number or variable . The interpretation of this operation is based upon exponents that symbolize natural numbers (also known as positive integers ). Natural-number exponents are used to indicate that multiplication of a number or variable is to be repeated. For instance, 5 × 5 × 5 is written in exponential notation as 53 (read as any of "5 cubed," "5 raised to the exponent 3," or "5 raised to the power 3," or just "5 to the third power"), and x × x × x × x is written x4. The number that is to be multiplied repeatedly is called the base. The number of times that the base appears in the product is the number represented by the exponent. In the previous examples, 5 and x are the bases, and 3 and 4 are the exponents. The process of repeated multiplication is often referred to as raising a number to a power. Thus the entire expression 53 is the power.

Exponents have a number of useful properties:

Any of the properties of exponents are easily verified for natural-number exponents by expanding the exponential notation in the form of a product. For example, property number (1) is easily verified for the example x3x2 as follows:

Property (5) is verified for the specific case x2y2 in the same fashion:

Exponents are not limited to the natural numbers. For example, property (3) shows that a base raised to a negative exponent is the same as the multiplicative inverse of (1 over) the base raised to the positive value of the same exponent. Thus 2-2 = 1/22 = 1/4.

Property (6) shows how the operation of exponentiation is extended to the rational numbers. Note that unit-fraction exponents, such as 1/3 or 1/2, are simply roots; that is, 125 to the 1/3 power is the same as the cube root of 125, while 49 to 1/2 power is the same as the square root of 49.

By keeping properties (1) through (6) as central, the operation is extended to all real-number exponents and even to complex-number exponents. For a given base, the real-number exponents map into a continuous curve .

# exponent

views updated May 18 2018

ex·po·nent / ikˈspōnənt; ˈekspōnənt/ • n. 1. a person who believes in and promotes the truth or benefits of an idea or theory: an early exponent of the teachings of Thomas Aquinas. ∎  a person who has and demonstrates a particular skill, esp. to a high standard: he's the world's leading exponent of country rock guitar.2. Math. 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 (e.g., 3 in 23 = 2 × 2 × 2).

# exponent

views updated May 29 2018

exponent Superscript number placed to the right of a symbol indicating its power, e.g. in a4 (=a × a × a × a), 4 is the exponent. Certain laws of exponents apply in mathematical operations. For example, 32 × 33 = 3(2 + 3) = 35; 34/33 = 3(4 − 3) = 31; (32)3 = 3(2 × 3) = 36; 3−5 = 1/35.

# exponent

views updated May 11 2018

exponent interpreting XVI; sb. (math.) index of a power XVIII; expounder, interpreter XIX. — L. expōnēns, -ent-, prp. of expōnere EXPOUND.
So exponential (math.) XVIII. — F. exponentiel.

# exponent

views updated May 21 2018