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This module is from Elementary Algebra by Denny Burzynski and Wade Ellis, Jr. The symbols, notations, and properties of numbers that form the basis of algebra, as well as exponents and the rules of exponents, are introduced in this chapter. Each property of real numbers and the rules of exponents are expressed both symbolically and literally. Literal explanations are included because symbolic explanations alone may be difficult for a student to interpret.Objectives of this module: understand exponential notation, be able to read exponential notation, understand how to use exponential notation with the order of operations.


  • Exponential Notation
  • Reading Exponential Notation
  • The Order of Operations

Exponential notation

In Section [link] we were reminded that multiplication is a description for repeated addition. A natural question is “Is there a description for repeated multiplication?” The answer is yes. The notation that describes repeated multiplication is exponential notation .


In multiplication, the numbers being multiplied together are called factors . In repeated multiplication, all the factors are the same. In nonrepeated multiplication, none of the factors are the same. For example,

18 18 18 18 Repeated multiplication of 18. All four factors , 18 , are the same . x x x x x Repeated multiplication of x . All five factors , x , are the same . 3 7 a Nonrepeated multiplication . None of the factors are the same .

Exponential notation is used to show repeated multiplication of the same factor. The notation consists of using a superscript on the factor that is repeated . The superscript is called an exponent .

Exponential notation

If x is any real number and n is a natural number, then

x n = x x x ... x n factors of x

An exponent records the number of identical factors in a multiplication.

Note that the definition for exponential notation only has meaning for natural number exponents. We will extend this notation to include other numbers as exponents later.

Sample set a

7 7 7 7 7 7 = 7 6 .

The repeated factor is 7. The exponent 6 records the fact that 7 appears 6 times in the multiplication.

x x x x = x 4 .

The repeated factor is x . The exponent 4 records the fact that x appears 4 times in the multiplication.

( 2 y ) ( 2 y ) ( 2 y ) = ( 2 y ) 3 .

The repeated factor is 2 y . The exponent 3 records the fact that the factor 2 y appears 3 times in the multiplication.

2 y y y = 2 y 3 .

The repeated factor is y . The exponent 3 records the fact that the factor y appears 3 times in the multiplication.

( a + b ) ( a + b ) ( a b ) ( a b ) ( a b ) = ( a + b ) 2 ( a b ) 3 .

The repeated factors are ( a + b ) and ( a b ) , ( a + b ) appearing 2 times and ( a b ) appearing 3 times.

Practice set a

Write each of the following using exponents.

a a a a

a 4

( 3 b ) ( 3 b ) ( 5 c ) ( 5 c ) ( 5 c ) ( 5 c )

( 3 b ) 2 ( 5 c ) 4

2 2 7 7 7 ( a 4 ) ( a 4 )

2 2 7 3 ( a 4 ) 2

8 x x x y z z z z z

8 x 3 y z 5


It is extremely important to realize and remember that an exponent applies only to the factor to which it is directly connected.

Sample set b

8 x 3 means 8 x x x and not 8 x 8 x 8 x . The exponent 3 applies only to the factor x since it is only to the factor x that the 3 is connected.

Questions & Answers

find the 15th term of the geometric sequince whose first is 18 and last term of 387
Jerwin Reply
I know this work
The given of f(x=x-2. then what is the value of this f(3) 5f(x+1)
virgelyn Reply
hmm well what is the answer
how do they get the third part x = (32)5/4
kinnecy Reply
can someone help me with some logarithmic and exponential equations.
Jeffrey Reply
sure. what is your question?
okay, so you have 6 raised to the power of 2. what is that part of your answer
I don't understand what the A with approx sign and the boxed x mean
it think it's written 20/(X-6)^2 so it's 20 divided by X-6 squared
I'm not sure why it wrote it the other way
I got X =-6
ok. so take the square root of both sides, now you have plus or minus the square root of 20= x-6
oops. ignore that.
so you not have an equal sign anywhere in the original equation?
is it a question of log
I rally confuse this number And equations too I need exactly help
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Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
right! what he said ⤴⤴⤴
what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
Kevin Reply
a perfect square v²+2v+_
Dearan Reply
kkk nice
Abdirahman Reply
algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
Kim Reply
or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
Embra Reply
if |A| not equal to 0 and order of A is n prove that adj (adj A = |A|
Nancy Reply
rolling four fair dice and getting an even number an all four dice
ramon Reply
Kristine 2*2*2=8
Bridget Reply
Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
Emedobi Reply
No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
Mary Reply
how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Algebra i for the community college. OpenStax CNX. Dec 19, 2014 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11598/1.3
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