Associated Topics || Dr. Math Home || Search Dr. Math

```Date: 06/11/2002 at 03:27:50
From: Dxssi
Subject: Cubing Numbers

Here's a question some friends and I are debating over, and we'd like
an expert's opinion, if you would be so kind. :)

Question: When a number is cubed how many times is it multiplied by
itself?  Would you say 2 or 3 and why?

Work thus far: I say 2, because if 2^3 = 2 * 2 * 2, then you've
multiplied 2 by itself twice.  To put it a different way, what if we
multiplied 2 * 4 * 4, and made the question, "How many times did we
multiply by 4?"  The answer would be two.

However, others disagree with me, and say the correct answer is 3,
because there are three 2's.

Your help would be much appreciated, thank you!
```

```
Date: 06/11/2002 at 09:02:43
From: Doctor Ian
Subject: Re: Cubing Numbers

Hi,

I've never liked the phrasing 'multiplied by itself', because
then you have to make special exceptions for

x^0 = 1

x^1 = x

I prefer to say that x^n is 1 multiplied by x, n times.  So I'd
say that a number cubed is 1 multiplied by the number, 3 times.

Does this help?

- Doctor Ian, The Math Forum
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
Math Forum Home || Math Library || Quick Reference || Math Forum Search