WHEN ALL THE FACTORS ARE EQUAL—2·2·2·2—we call the product a power of that number (Lesson 1).
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Problem 1. What number is
a) the third power of 2? 2 · 2 · 2 = 8
b) the fourth power of 3? = 81
c) the fifth power of 10? = 100,000
d) the first power of 8? = 8
The exponent indicates the number of times to repeat the base as a factor.
The student must take care not to confuse 3a, which means 3 times a, with a3, which means a times a times a.
Problem 2. What does each symbol mean?
In part d), the parentheses indicate that the base is 5a. In part e), only a is the base. The exponent does not apply to 5.
Problem 3. 34 = 81.
a) Which number is called the base? 3
b) Which number is the power? 81 is the power of 3.
c) Which number is the exponent?
4. It indicates the power, namely the 4th.
Problem 4. Write out the meaning of these symbols.
a) a2a3 = aa · aaa
b) (ab)3 = ab · ab · ab
c) (a2)3 = a2 · a2 · a2
Problem 5. Write out the meaning of these symbols. In each one, what is the base?
a) a4 = aaaa. The base is a.
c) (−a)4 = (−a)(−a)(−a)(−a). Here, the base is (−a).
Problem 6. Evaluate.
a) 24 = 16.
b) −24 =
−16. This is the negative of 24. The base is 2. See
c) (−2)4 =
+16, according to the Rule of Signs (Lesson 4).
Example 1. Negative base.
(−2)3 = (−2)(−2)(−2) = −8,
again according to the Rule of Signs. Whereas,
(−2)4 = +16.
When the base is negative, and the exponent is odd, then the product is negative. But when the base is negative, and the exponent is even, then the product is positive.
Problem 7. Evaluate.
Problem 8. Rewrite using exponents.
Problem 9. Rewrite using exponents.
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