When we write 53, it is said that 5 is raised to the power of three. Here 5 is called the base and 3 is called the exponent. It means 5 is multiplied three times to itself. For example 53 means 5x5x5. Exponents are also called index. Exponents are extremely useful in expressing very large or very small numbers. Exponents are of two types: Positive exponents and negative exponents. For example in 82 where 2 is a positive integer and in 7-4 where -4 is a negative integer.
Even fractions can be expressed with the help of exponents such as (7/9)2. It means 7 x 7/9 x 9. therefore the result will be 49/81. There are few principles in exponents like:
In case of positive exponents, 35 means 3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3. However, in case of negative exponents 3-5Â means 1/ 35
i.e., 1/3 x 3 x 3 x 3 x 3.
When we need to multiply numbers that have same base then we can just add the exponents. For example we need to multiply 23Â toÂ 26Â then one of the ways to get the product is to get the value ofÂ 23 Â andÂ 26Â Â separately and then multiply them to get the final product. However, an easier method and prevalent method is to add the exponents that is 23Â x 26Â Â =Â 23+6 Â =Â 29.
If the multiplication consists of more than two different bases such as 24 x 26 x 33 x 35Â , then the right process to calculate this is, 24+6Â xÂ 33+5Â =Â 210Â x 38
When we need to divide two numbers of same bases then the suggested method is to subtract the exponent of divisor from the exponent of the dividend. For example if we divideÂ 78 / 76, then the best way to calculate the quotient isÂ 78-6 = 72. However, there can be two different bases in the dividend itself, but those two bases need to remain in case of the divisor too. Fore example,Â 24 x 35 / 22Â x 32. Then the answer will be 24-2Â xÂ 35-2Â =Â 22Â x 33 .
Reciprocal is a huge factor in case of exponents. For example the value of (3/5)-3Â will be the reciprocal of (3/5)3 that is, it will be (5/3)3.
There are more rules to division such as if the value of the exponent of the dividend is less than the value of the exponent of the divisor then it gives a quotient with a negative exponent. For example,
52 / 55
58Â x 55
Â = 58+5
Â = 513
23 x 34 x 25 x 39
=Â 23+5Â xÂ 34+9
=Â Â 28 Â Â x 313
65Â by 63
Â = 65 -3
Â = 62
77Â by 73
=Â 77 â€“ 3
Test your knowledge – try our Exponents Test.