Exponents Order of Operation

I'm still confused about order of operations on exponents:

Is $x^{a^b}$ equal to $x^{(a^b)}$ or $(x^a)^b$?

*Hmm... $x^{a^b}$ has the source of x^{a^b}. Whenever I try x^a^b, it requires me to "clarify by using braces".

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Can anyone retag this "order-of-operations"? –  muntoo Feb 13 '11 at 3:38
Since that tag does not exist, and this is covered in arithmetic and elementary... –  Arturo Magidin Feb 13 '11 at 4:00
Since $(a^b)^c = a^{bc}$, it makes much more sense to use the convention $$a^{b^c} = a^{\left(b^c\right)}.$$ This is knows as "right associativity".