Properties of Exponents
Exponential notation is a shorthand way of writing repeated
multiplication of the same number.
For example, 53 is a shorthand way of writing 5
Â· 5 Â· 5.
In the expression 53:
â€¢ The base, 5, is the repeated factor.
â€¢ The exponent, 3, is the number of times the base appears as a factor.
An exponent is also called a power.
An exponent is not always a positive real number. Here is the definition of
a negative exponent:
Using this definition, we can show that:
Write without using a negative exponent and then simplify: 6-3
The sign of the exponent does not indicate
the sign of the number.
For example, 6-3 has a negative exponent,
-3. But it simplifies to a positive number.
As another example, -32 has a positive exponent. But it simplifies to a negative
-32= -3 Â· 3 = -9
Write without using a negative exponent: 8wy-2.