The Meaning of Powers, such as Squares and CubesDate: 3/14/96 at 18:30:46 From: David Peace Subject: 5 to the power of 2 Dear Dr. Math, What does to the power mean? Like 5 to the power of 2. I've always wondered that. L. R. Green School Date: 3/14/96 at 23:39:10 From: Doctor Jodi Subject: Re: 5 to the power of 2 Hi David! What a good question you wrote to us! Powers are just a shorthand. Have you ever seen multiplication looked at as grouping? 3 X 5 = 000 000 000 000 000 or ***** ***** ***** or @@@ + @@@ + @@@ + @@@ + @@@ etc.. In the same sort of way, powers are GROUPINGS of multiplications. So 5 to the power of 2 (also written 5^2) is the same as 5 x 5 (5 times itself). I've got a question for you now... What is 5 to the power of 4 (5^4)? If you want to know more, or if you have more questions, write us back... -Doctor Jodi, The Math Forum |
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