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Write the following exponential equations in logarithmic form.

  1. 3 2 = 9
  2. 5 3 = 125
  3. 2 1 = 1 2
  1. 3 2 = 9 is equivalent to log 3 ( 9 ) = 2
  2. 5 3 = 125 is equivalent to log 5 ( 125 ) = 3
  3. 2 1 = 1 2 is equivalent to log 2 ( 1 2 ) = 1

Evaluating logarithms

Knowing the squares, cubes, and roots of numbers allows us to evaluate many logarithms mentally. For example, consider log 2 8. We ask, “To what exponent must 2 be raised in order to get 8?” Because we already know 2 3 = 8 , it follows that log 2 8 = 3.

Now consider solving log 7 49 and log 3 27 mentally.

  • We ask, “To what exponent must 7 be raised in order to get 49?” We know 7 2 = 49. Therefore, log 7 49 = 2
  • We ask, “To what exponent must 3 be raised in order to get 27?” We know 3 3 = 27. Therefore, log 3 27 = 3

Even some seemingly more complicated logarithms can be evaluated without a calculator. For example, let’s evaluate log 2 3 4 9 mentally.

  • We ask, “To what exponent must 2 3 be raised in order to get 4 9 ? ” We know 2 2 = 4 and 3 2 = 9 , so ( 2 3 ) 2 = 4 9 . Therefore, log 2 3 ( 4 9 ) = 2.

Given a logarithm of the form y = log b ( x ) , evaluate it mentally.

  1. Rewrite the argument x as a power of b : b y = x .
  2. Use previous knowledge of powers of b identify y by asking, “To what exponent should b be raised in order to get x ?

Solving logarithms mentally

Solve y = log 4 ( 64 ) without using a calculator.

First we rewrite the logarithm in exponential form: 4 y = 64. Next, we ask, “To what exponent must 4 be raised in order to get 64?”

We know

4 3 = 64


log ( 64 ) 4 = 3

Solve y = log 121 ( 11 ) without using a calculator.

log 121 ( 11 ) = 1 2 (recalling that 121 = ( 121 ) 1 2 = 11 )

Evaluating the logarithm of a reciprocal

Evaluate y = log 3 ( 1 27 ) without using a calculator.

First we rewrite the logarithm in exponential form: 3 y = 1 27 . Next, we ask, “To what exponent must 3 be raised in order to get 1 27 ?

We know 3 3 = 27 , but what must we do to get the reciprocal, 1 27 ? Recall from working with exponents that b a = 1 b a . We use this information to write

3 3 = 1 3 3 = 1 27

Therefore, log 3 ( 1 27 ) = 3.

Evaluate y = log 2 ( 1 32 ) without using a calculator.

log 2 ( 1 32 ) = 5

Using common logarithms

Sometimes we may see a logarithm written without a base. In this case, we assume that the base is 10. In other words, the expression log ( x ) means log 10 ( x ) . We call a base-10 logarithm a common logarithm . Common logarithms are used to measure the Richter Scale mentioned at the beginning of the section. Scales for measuring the brightness of stars and the pH of acids and bases also use common logarithms.

Definition of the common logarithm

A common logarithm    is a logarithm with base 10. We write log 10 ( x ) simply as log ( x ) . The common logarithm of a positive number x satisfies the following definition.

For x > 0 ,

y = log ( x )  is equivalent to  10 y = x

We read log ( x ) as, “the logarithm with base 10 of x ” or “log base 10 of x .

The logarithm y is the exponent to which 10 must be raised to get x .

Given a common logarithm of the form y = log ( x ) , evaluate it mentally.

  1. Rewrite the argument x as a power of 10 : 10 y = x .
  2. Use previous knowledge of powers of 10 to identify y by asking, “To what exponent must 10 be raised in order to get x ?

Questions & Answers

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?
Commplementary angles
Idrissa Reply
im all ears I need to learn
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what is a good calculator for all algebra; would a Casio fx 260 work with all algebra equations? please name the cheapest, thanks.
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algebra 2 Inequalities:If equation 2 = 0 it is an open set?
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or infinite solutions?
The answer is neither. The function, 2 = 0 cannot exist. Hence, the function is undefined.
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Differences Between Laspeyres and Paasche Indices
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No. 7x -4y is simplified from 4x + (3y + 3x) -7y
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. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
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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.
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Source:  OpenStax, Selected topics in algebra. OpenStax CNX. Sep 02, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11877/1.2
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