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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
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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

Therefore,

log ( 64 ) 4 = 3
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Solve y = log 121 ( 11 ) without using a calculator.

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

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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.

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

log 2 ( 1 32 ) = 5

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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

how can are find the domain and range of a relations
austin Reply
A cell phone company offers two plans for minutes. Plan A: $15 per month and $2 for every 300 texts. Plan B: $25 per month and $0.50 for every 100 texts. How many texts would you need to send per month for plan B to save you money?
Diddy Reply
6000
Robert
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Robert
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Zairen Reply
How would you find if a radical function is one to one?
Peighton Reply
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Jenica Reply
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SLIMANE
Thanks po.
Jenica
Hey I am new to precalculus, and wanted clarification please on what sine is as I am floored by the terms in this app? I don't mean to sound stupid but I have only completed up to college algebra.
rachel Reply
I don't know if you are looking for a deeper answer or not, but the sine of an angle in a right triangle is the length of the opposite side to the angle in question divided by the length of the hypotenuse of said triangle.
Marco
can you give me sir tips to quickly understand precalculus. Im new too in that topic. Thanks
Jenica
if you remember sine, cosine, and tangent from geometry, all the relationships are the same but they use x y and r instead (x is adjacent, y is opposite, and r is hypotenuse).
Natalie
it is better to use unit circle than triangle .triangle is only used for acute angles but you can begin with. Download any application named"unit circle" you find in it all you need. unit circle is a circle centred at origine (0;0) with radius r= 1.
SLIMANE
What is domain
johnphilip
the standard equation of the ellipse that has vertices (0,-4)&(0,4) and foci (0, -15)&(0,15) it's standard equation is x^2 + y^2/16 =1 tell my why is it only x^2? why is there no a^2?
Reena Reply
what is foci?
Reena Reply
This term is plural for a focus, it is used for conic sections. For more detail or other math questions. I recommend researching on "Khan academy" or watching "The Organic Chemistry Tutor" YouTube channel.
Chris
how to determine the vertex,focus,directrix and axis of symmetry of the parabola by equations
Bryssen Reply
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meena Reply
what is the diameter of(x-2)²+(y-3)²=25
Den Reply
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Barcenas Reply
what type of identity
Jeffrey
Confunction Identity
Barcenas
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meena
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meena
For each year t, the population of a forest of trees is represented by the function A(t) = 117(1.029)t. In a neighboring forest, the population of the same type of tree is represented by the function B(t) = 86(1.025)t.
Shakeena Reply
by how many trees did forest "A" have a greater number?
Shakeena
32.243
Kenard
how solve standard form of polar
Rhudy Reply
what is a complex number used for?
Drew Reply
It's just like any other number. The important thing to know is that they exist and can be used in computations like any number.
Steve
I would like to add that they are used in AC signal analysis for one thing
Scott
Good call Scott. Also radar signals I believe.
Steve
They are used in any profession where the phase of a waveform has to be accounted for in the calculations. Imagine two electrical signals in a wire that are out of phase by 90°. At some times they will interfere constructively, others destructively. Complex numbers simplify those equations
Tim
Practice Key Terms 3

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Source:  OpenStax, Precalculus. OpenStax CNX. Jan 19, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11667/1.6
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