How to Write in Exponential Form

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An exponential equation multiplies the base number by itself however many times the exponent indicates. If you need to multiply the number eight by itself 17 times, it would be unwieldy to write out the number eight 17 different times, so mathematicians use exponential form. Exponents have practical applications in daily life, such as calculating interest, present value and future value to determine loan payments.

    Write the exponent with superscript. Superscript is a form of type or writing where the number in superscript is slightly smaller and raised higher than the rest of the text. The normal text is the base number, or the number that gets multiplied by itself, and the superscript is the exponent, or the number of times the base is multiplied by itself. The superscript number follows the base number.

    Notate the exponent with a carat, which is the symbol "^." Write your base number first, followed immediately by the carat, then immediately follow the carat with the exponent. An example: 5^6, where five is the base and six is the exponent.

    Write the exponential form with words. For example, instead of "5^6" you could write out, "five to the sixth power" or "five to the power of six."

References

About the Author

James McElroy began his journalism career in 2001 and his stories have appeared in newspapers around the world, including "The Columbus Dispatch" and "The Star-Ledger." He studied journalism at the E.W. Scripps Graduate School of Journalism at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

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