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Beginning Pre-Calculus for Game Developers by Boris Meltreger, John P. Flynt

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Exponents

When you multiply a number by itself, you raise it to a power. A power is a product in which all of the factors are the same. To indicate that you are raising a number to a given power, you employ an exponent. An exponent tells you the number of times by which you multiply a number by itself to arrive at the value you seek. Consider the following expressions:

a × a = a22 × 2 = 22 = 4
a × a × a = a32 × 2 × 2 = 23 = 8
a × a × a × a = a42 × 2 × 2 × 2 = 24 = 16

In the expression a2, the a is the base of the expression, and the 2 is the exponent. The base provides the number you use in the multiplication. The exponent tells you how many times to multiply the number by itself.

Negative Numbers with Powers

When you use a negative number as ...

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