Drexel dragonThe Math ForumDonate to the Math Forum

Ask Dr. Math - Questions and Answers from our Archives
_____________________________________________
Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math
_____________________________________________

Powers


Date: 10/7/96 at 4:34:52
From: Daniel Johansson
Subject: Number to a Power

Hello!

What do you call it when you have a number raised to a number, like...

         3
        2

   Daniel Johansson


Date: 10/17/96 at 11:36:10
From: Doctor Jack
Subject: Re: Number to a Power

You have asked a really interesting question.  The name for the
function you are asking about is called the "power" function.  Your
example

       3
      2

would be read as "2 to the power 3", and more generally, the 
expression

      y
     x

would be read as "x to the power y".  

If y is a whole number like 3, then calculating x to the power y is 
done by multiplying x by itself y times.  

The power function calculation gets more interesting if y is not a 
whole number.  For example

        1/3                                           3
   w = 2     is defined to be the number satisfying  w  = 2.

Using a calculator, you will find that w is approximately  1.25992.

-Doctor Jack,  The Math Forum
 Check out our web site!  http://mathforum.org/dr.math/   
    
Associated Topics:
Middle School Exponents

Search the Dr. Math Library:


Find items containing (put spaces between keywords):
 
Click only once for faster results:

[ Choose "whole words" when searching for a word like age.]

all keywords, in any order at least one, that exact phrase
parts of words whole words

Submit your own question to Dr. Math

[Privacy Policy] [Terms of Use]

_____________________________________
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search
_____________________________________

Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/