Questions about exponentiation, the operation of raising a base $b$ to an exponent $a$ to give $b^a$.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

164
votes
22answers
13k views

Zero to the zero power - Is $0^0=1$?

Could someone provide me with good explanation of why $0^0 = 1$? My train of thought: $x > 0$ $0^x = 0^{x-0} = 0^x/0^0$, so $0^0 = 0^x/0^x = ?$ Possible answers: $0^0 * 0^x = 1 * 0^x$, so ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I compute $a^b\,\bmod c$ by hand?

How do I efficiently compute $a^b\,\bmod c$: When $b$ is huge, for instance $5^{844325}\,\bmod 21$? When $b$ is less than $c$ but it would still be a lot of work to multiply $a$ by itself $b$ times, ...
50
votes
6answers
4k views

$x^y = y^x$ for integers $x$ and $y$

We know that $2^4 = 4^2$ and $(-2)^{-4} = (-4)^{-2}$. Is there another pair of integers $x, y$ ($x\neq y$) which satisfies the equality $x^y = y^x$?
33
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the value of $1^i$?

What is the value of $1^i$? $\,$
11
votes
2answers
845 views

Is $x^x=y$ solvable for $x$?

Given that $x^x = y$; and given some value for $y$ is there a way to expressly solve that equation for $x$?
15
votes
1answer
310 views

Prove that $(p+q)^m \leq p^m+q^m$

If $p,q$ are positive quantities and $0 \leq m\leq 1$ then Prove that $$(p+q)^m \leq p^m+q^m$$ Trial: For $m=0$, $(p+q)^0=1 < 2= p^0+q^0$ and for $m=1$, $(p+q)^1=p+q =p^1+q^1$. So, For ...
59
votes
4answers
4k views

Are the solutions of $x^{x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}}}=2$ correct?

Problem: Find $x$ in $$\large x^{x^{x^{x^{ \cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}} }}}}=2$$ Trick: $x^{x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}}}=2$, so, $x^{(x^{x^{x^{\cdot^{{\cdot}^{\cdot}}}}})}=x^2=2$, and, ...
115
votes
9answers
5k views

What does $2^x$ really mean when $x$ is not an integer?

We all know that $2^5$ means $2\times 2\times 2\times 2\times 2 = 32$, but what does $2^\pi$ mean? How is it possible to calculate that without using a calculator? I am really curious about this, so ...
13
votes
1answer
411 views

If $n^c\in\mathbb N$ for every $n\in\mathbb N$, then $c$ is a non-negative integer?

Supposing that a real number $c$ is given, is the following true? "If $n^c$ is a natural number for every natural number $n$, then $c$ is a non-negative integer." Though this seems true, I can't ...
22
votes
1answer
2k views

Infinite tetration, convergence radius

I got this problem from my teacher as a optional challenge. I am open about this being a given problem, however it is not homework. The problem is stated as follows. Assume we have an infinite ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Non-integer powers of negative numbers

Roots behave strangely over complex numbers. Given this, how do non-integer powers behave over negative numbers? More specifically: Can we define fractional powers such as $(-2)^{-1.5}$? Can we ...
21
votes
12answers
2k views

Alternative notation for exponents, logs and roots?

If we have $$ x^y = z $$ then we know that $$ \sqrt[y]{z} = x $$ and $$ \log_x{z} = y .$$ As a visually-oriented person I have often been dismayed that the symbols for these three operators ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

$\sin(A)$, where $A$ is a matrix

If $A$ is an $n\times n$ matrix with elements $a_{ij}$ $i=$i'th row, $j=$j'th column. Then $e^A$ is also a matrix as can be seen by expanding it in a power series.Is $e^A$ always convergent and ...
11
votes
4answers
9k views

How do you compute negative numbers to fractional powers?

My teachers have gone over rules for dealing with fractional exponents. I was just wondering how someone would compute say: $$(-5)^{2/3}$$ I have tried a couple ways to simplify this and I am not sure ...
19
votes
18answers
2k views

How to understand why $x^0 = 1$, where $x$ is any real number?

Alright, so the idea of an exponent, $x$, is that you are multiplying its base by itself $x$ number of times. With base $5$ and $x=3$, we have that $5^3$ = $5 \cdot 5 \cdot 5$ I understand that the ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Inverse of $y=xe^x$

I feel like finding the inverse of $y=xe^x$ should have an easy answer but can't find it.
46
votes
10answers
3k views

What is exponentiation?

Is there an intuitive definition of exponentiation? In elementary school, we learned that $$ a^b = a \cdot a \cdot a \cdot a \cdots (b\ \textrm{ times}) $$ where $b$ is an integer. Then later on ...
5
votes
2answers
927 views

Why does the $n$-th power of a Jordan matrix involve the binomial coefficient?

I've searched a lot for a simple explanation of this. Given a Jordan block $J_k(\lambda)$, its $n$-th power is: $$ J_k(\lambda)^n = \begin{bmatrix} \lambda^n & \binom{n}{1}\lambda^{n-1} & ...
11
votes
10answers
490 views

Prove by induction that for all $n \geq 3$: $n^{n+1} > (n+1)^n$

I am currently helping a friend of mine with his preperations for his next exam. A big topic of the exam will be induction, thus I told him he should practice this a lot. As at the beginning he had no ...
10
votes
4answers
608 views

Which step in this process allows me to erroneously conclude that $i = 1$

I was playing around with imaginary numbers and exponents and came up with this: $$ i = \sqrt{-1} $$ $$ \sqrt{-1} = (-1)^{1/2} $$ $$ (-1)^{1/2} = (-1)^{2/4} $$ $$ (-1)^{2/4} = ((-1)^{2})^{1/4} ...
32
votes
3answers
8k views

Can you raise a number to an irrational exponent?

The way that I was taught it in 8th grade algebra, a number raised to a fractional exponent, i.e. $a^\frac x y$ is equivalent to the denominatorth root of the number raised to the numerator, i.e. ...
16
votes
6answers
4k views

A question comparing $\pi^e$ to $e^\pi$ [duplicate]

I was doing an algebra problem set following a chapter on logarithms and exponentiation, and it presented this "bonus question": Without using your calculator, determine which is larger: $e^\pi$ ...
13
votes
4answers
5k views

How to calculate the matrix exponential explicitly for a matrix which isn't diagonalizable?

How can I compute an expression for $(\exp(Qt))_{i,j}$ for some fixed $i, j$ and matrix $Q$? When $Q$ is diagonalizable, we can diagonalize, but what can be done otherwise? Thanks.
7
votes
2answers
222 views

An “elementary” approach to complex exponents?

Is there any way to extend the elementary definition of powers to the case of complex numbers? By "elementary" I am referring to the definition based on $$a^n=\underbrace{a\cdot a\cdots ...
23
votes
9answers
1k views

Why is $x^0 = 1$ except when $x = 0$?

Why is any number (other than zero) to the power of zero equal to one? Please include in your answer an explanation of why $0^0$ should be undefined.
17
votes
5answers
4k views

Approximation of $e^{-x}$

Is there a method to mentally evaluate $e^{-x}$ for $x>0$? Just to have an idea when computing probabilities or anything that is an exponential function of some parameters.
1
vote
5answers
443 views

Generate solutions of Quadratic Diophantine Equation

Recently I've asked a question for how to solve Quadratic Diophantine Equation and I got one interesting answer. Link to question: How to solve Quadratic Diophantine Equation Here's the answer: $$ ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

How to evaluate fractional tetrations?

Recently I've come across 'tetration' in my studies of math, and I've become intrigued how they can be evaluated when the "tetration number" is not whole. For those who do not know, tetrations are the ...
9
votes
5answers
15k views

How do you calculate the modulo of a high-raised number?

I need some help with this problem: $$439^{233} \mod 713$$ I can't calculate $439^{223}$ since it's a very big number, there must be a way to do this. Thanks.
5
votes
3answers
4k views

$x^x=y$. How to solve for $x$?

I tried looking for ways to solve this equation and came across something like Lambert's W function, which, by the way, I did not understand a bit, because I've never learned it nor do I have a decent ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Existence of $x$ such that $2^x =a,3^x=b,5^x=c$ for some integers $a,b,c$

Conjecture: There does not exist a non-integer $x$ such that $$2^x=a$$ $$3^x=b$$ $$5^x=c$$ where $a,b,c$ are all integers. I'm aware that the similar question There does not ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Prove variant of triangle inequality containing p-th power for 0 < p < 1

Sorry if this is a trivial question, but I am kind of stuck with proving the following inequality and have been searching for a while: $\rho \left( \sum\limits_i^n d_i \right) \leq \sum\limits_i^n ...
3
votes
4answers
311 views

What is the shortest way to compute the last 3 digits of $17^{256}$?

What is the shortest way to compute the last 3 digits of $17^{256}$ ? My solution: \begin{align} 17^{256} &=289^{128} \\ &=(290 - 1)^{128}\\ &=\binom{128}{0}290^{128} - ... ...
114
votes
3answers
9k views

Is 2048 the highest power of 2 with all even digits (base ten)?

I have a friend who turned 32 recently. She has an obsessive compulsive disdain for odd numbers, so I pointed out that being 32 was pretty good since not only is it even, it also has no odd factors. ...
40
votes
15answers
4k views

Which is larger? $20!$ or $2^{40}$?

Someone asked me this question, and it bothers the hell out of me that I can't prove either way. I've sort of come to the conclusion that 20! must be larger, because it has 36 prime factors, some of ...
26
votes
2answers
356 views

Generalisation of $(n+3)^2-(n+2)^2-(n+1)^2+n^2=4$

After seeing the neat little identity $(n+3)^2-(n+2)^2-(n+1)^2+n^2=4$ somewhere on MSE, I tried generalising this to higher consecutive powers in the form $\sum_{k=0}^a\epsilon_k(n+k)^p=C$, where $C$ ...
24
votes
6answers
2k views

Why do we need to prove $e^{u+v} = e^ue^v$?

In this book I'm using the author seems to feel a need to prove $e^{u+v} = e^ue^v$ By $\ln(e^{u+v}) = u + v = \ln(e^u) + \ln(e^v) = \ln(e^u e^v)$ Hence $e^{u+v} = e^u e^v$ But we know from basic ...
14
votes
1answer
358 views

How to raise a number to a quaternion power

Now, I know that it's (relatively) easy to calculate, say, $r^{a+bi}$ (using the fact that, for $z_1, z_2\in \mathbb{C}, {z_1}^{z_2}=e^{z_2\ln(z_1)}$ and $\ln(z_1$) can just be found using: ...
7
votes
4answers
458 views

Please help me to show, that $(\ln x)'=\frac1 x$

In school, we recently started with derivations. I looked into a list of simple derivations and tried to prove them, in order to practice. Now, I tried to find the derivative of $\ln x$, but I got ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Complex Exponents

What does it mean to raise a number to a complex exponent, and why? A lot of the explanations that I've seen involve e, why is this? I'm looking for an intuitive answer describing to how ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Proving the Product Rule for exponents with the same base

For all $ a, b \text{ and } c \in \mathbb{R}$ and $a>1$, Prove that $a^b\cdot a^c=a^{b+c}$ I have come across this question and its bugging me. Its a basic property that we learn in HS and I was ...
17
votes
6answers
8k views

What's the inverse operation of exponents?

You know, like addition is the inverse operation of subtraction, vice versa, multiplication is the inverse of division, vice versa , square is the inverse of square root, vice versa. What's the ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Is it possible to solve $i^2+i+1\equiv 0\pmod{2^p-1}$ in general?

While looking at the Mersenne numbers (for prime $p$, the number $2^p-1$), I noticed that only certain of them had any solution to the modular equation $i^2+i+1\equiv 0\pmod{2^p-1}$, e.g., ...
2
votes
5answers
2k views

Why is two to the power of zero equal to binary one?

Probably a simple question and possibly not asked very well. What I want to know is.. In binary, a decimal value of 1 is also 1. It can be expressed as $x = 1 \times 2^0$ Question: Why is two to ...
4
votes
7answers
663 views

Numbers to the Power of Zero

I have been a witness to many a discussion about numbers to the power of zero, but I have never really been sold on any claims or explanations. This is a three part question, the parts are as ...
2
votes
4answers
459 views

What is the value of $i^i$? [duplicate]

I understand that when you raise any number $x$ to a power, you multiply $x$ by itself the number of times indicated in the power. However, what happens when $i^i$ is performed? How can a number be ...
1
vote
1answer
260 views

What comes after exponents?

We use multiplication for repeated addition, and in turn use exponents for repeated multiplication. What topic comes after this, for repeated exponentials? Is there something my teachers are hiding ...
1
vote
3answers
415 views

A contradiction involving exponents

Where is the error in the following statement: $i^2=(i^2)^{\frac{4}{4}}=(i^4)^{\frac{2}{4}}=(1)^{\frac{1}{2}}=1$? I feel the error is in the first equality, because $(i^2)^{\frac{4}{4}}$ is in fact ...
49
votes
2answers
2k views

Fastest way to check if $x^y > y^x$?

What is the fastest way to check if $x^y > y^x$ if I were writing a computer program to do that? The issue is that $x$ and $y$ can be very large.
34
votes
1answer
599 views

Arranging numbers from $1$ to $n$ such that the sum of every two adjacent numbers is a perfect power

I've known that one can arrange all the numbers from $1$ to $\color{red}{15}$ in a row such that the sum of every two adjacent numbers is a perfect square. $$8,1,15,10,6,3,13,12,4,5,11,14,2,7,9$$ ...