1.1.4 Powers and Exponents

Key Objectives • Write powers for geometric models. • Evaluate powers. • Write powers. Key Terms • A power is an expression written with a base and an exponent. • An exponent indicates how many times a number (the base of a power) is used as a factor. • The base of a power is the number that is used as a factor in the power. The expression 3 2 (read as “3 to the 2nd power” or “3 squared”) is a power, where 3 is the base and 2 is the exponent. The exponent in a power indicates the number of times the base is used as a factor. In the power 3 2 , the exponent 2 indicates that the base 3 is used as a factor two times. So, to simplify the power 3 2 , multiply 3 by itself 2 times: 3 2 = 3 · 3 = 9. Example 1 Writing Powers for Geometric Models In Example 1, Prof. Burger writes powers represented by geometric models to illustrate the efficiency of using powers to express the total number of items in a set.

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