Questions tagged [exponentiation]

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

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110
votes
12answers
15k 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, ...
333
votes
24answers
37k views

Zero to the zero power – is $0^0=1$?

Could someone provide me with a 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: $0^0\cdot0^x=1\cdot0^0$, so $0^0=1$ $...
85
votes
6answers
19k 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 $x^y = y^x$?
94
votes
12answers
12k views

Comparing $\pi^e$ and $e^\pi$ without calculating them

How can I calculate, without calculator or similar device, the values of $\pi^e$ and $e^\pi$ in order to compare them?
54
votes
7answers
75k views

Finding $\int x^xdx$

I'm trying to find $\int x^x \, dx$, but the only thing I know how to do is this: Let $u=x^x$. $$\begin{align} \int x^x \, dx&=\int u \, du\\[6pt] &=\frac{u^2}{2}\\[6pt] &=\dfrac{\left(x^...
69
votes
7answers
70k views

Prove that $i^i$ is a real number

According to WolframAlpha, $i^i=e^{-\pi/2}$ but I don't know how I can prove it.
6
votes
8answers
4k views

Show that if $n>2$, then $(n!)^2>n^n$.

Show that if $n>2$, then $(n!)^2>n^n$. My work: I tried to apply induction. So, at the induction step, I need to prove, $n^n>(n+1)^{n-1}$ Here, I tried to use induction again without any ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Starting digits of $2^n$.

Prove that for any finite sequence of decimal digits, there exists an $n$ such that the decimal expansion of $2^n$ begins with these digits.
12
votes
2answers
6k views

What's the limit of the sequence $\lim\limits_{n \to\infty} \frac{n!}{n^n}$?

$$\lim_{n \to\infty} \frac{n!}{n^n}$$ I have a question: is it valid to use Stirling's Formula to prove convergence of the sequence?
47
votes
5answers
45k 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 ...
93
votes
14answers
7k views

math fallacy problem: $-1= (-1)^3 = (-1)^{6/2} = \sqrt{(-1)^6}= 1$?

I know there is something wrong with this but I don't know where. It's some kind of a math fallacy and it is driving me crazy. Here it is: $$-1= (-1)^3 = (-1)^{6/2} = \sqrt{(-1)^6}= 1?$$
15
votes
5answers
669 views

Why $(-2)^{2.5}$ isn't equal to $((-2)^{25})^{1/10}$?

I've tried both calculations on Wolfram Alpha and it returns different results, but I can't get a grasp of why it is like that. From my point of view, both calculations should be the same, as $2.5=25/...
119
votes
4answers
41k 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. $\...
79
votes
4answers
8k views

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

Find $x$ in $$ \Large 2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}}$$ A trick to solve this is to see that $$\large 2 = x^{x^{x^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot^{\:\cdot}}}}} \quad\implies\quad 2 = x^{\Big(x^{x^{x^{...
26
votes
1answer
2k 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 $m=0,1$ ...
22
votes
2answers
3k 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 $x$?
196
votes
9answers
9k 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 ...
37
votes
3answers
8k 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 ...
45
votes
3answers
4k views

What is the value of $1^i$?

What is the value of $1^i$? $\,$
20
votes
10answers
13k 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 ...
48
votes
11answers
8k views

What are the Laws of Rational Exponents?

On Math SE, I've seen several questions which relate to the following. By abusing the laws of exponents for rational exponents, one can come up with any number of apparent paradoxes, in which a number ...
22
votes
2answers
10k 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} & \...
19
votes
2answers
774 views

For which complex $a,\,b,\,c$ does $(a^b)^c=a^{bc}$ hold?

Wolfram Mathematica simplifies $(a^b)^c$ to $a^{bc}$ only for positive real $a, b$ and $c$. See W|A output. I've previously been struggling to understand why does $\dfrac{\log(a^b)}{\log(a)}=b$ and $\...
47
votes
6answers
5k views

What is the order when doing $x^{y^z}$ and why?

Does $x^{y^z}$ equal $x^{(y^z)}$? If so, why? Why not simply apply the order of the operation from left to right? Meaning $x^{y^z}$ equals $(x^y)^z$? I always get confused with this and I don't ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

How is Faulhaber's formula derived?

I have been wanting to understand how to find the sum of this series. $$1^p + 2^p + 3^p +{\dots} + n^p$$ I am familiar with Gauss' diagonalised adding trick for the sum of the first $n$ natural ...
30
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
10answers
2k 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 follows....
74
votes
3answers
10k 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.
21
votes
1answer
713 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
958 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: The quadratic diophantine $ k^2 - 1 = 5(m^2 - 1)$ Here's the answer: ...
4
votes
4answers
422 views

Exponent of a number is a square root?

Say you have a number $x^{\sqrt 2}$. Is there any way to represent this number so that there's no root (or irrational) as the exponent (so that it's easier to understand for me)? I just can't wrap my ...
18
votes
3answers
3k views

Continuum between addition, multiplication and exponentiation?

I noticed this old post which attempts to find the shades of grey between a linear and log scale where results are between zero and one. However, I was looking for the more general case where we find ...
13
votes
3answers
996 views

Closed form formula for $\sum\limits_{k=1}^n k^k$

Is there a way of finding a formula for $\sum\limits_{k=1}^n k^k$? Maybe I'm missing something really obvious, but I've looked around a bit on the Internet and I haven't been able to find anything. ...
27
votes
5answers
92k 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.
125
votes
17answers
22k 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 ...
58
votes
1answer
7k 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. $$8,1,15,10,6,3,13,12,4,5,11,14,2,7,9$$ Also,...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

The last two digits of $9^{9^9}$

I tried to calculate the last two digits of $9^{9^9}$ using Euler's Totient theorem, what I got is that it is same as the last two digits of $9^9$. How do I proceed further?
8
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
676 views

last two digits of $14^{5532}$?

This is a exam question, something related to network security, I have no clue how to solve this! Last two digits of $7^4$ and $3^{20}$ is $01$, what is the last two digits of $14^{5532}$?
162
votes
3answers
15k 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 ...
65
votes
13answers
7k 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 ...
19
votes
3answers
4k views

Under what conditions is the exponential map on a Lie algebra injective?

Let $G$ be a Lie group with Lie algebra $\mathfrak{g}$ and let $\exp :\mathfrak{g}\rightarrow G$ be the exponential map. In his blog, Terence Tao notes that if a Lie group is not simply-connected, ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

What is $(-1)^{\frac{2}{3}}$?

Following from this question, I came up with another interesting question: What is $(-1)^{\frac{2}{3}}$? Wolfram alpha says it equals to some weird complex number (-0.5 +0.866... i), but when I try ...
31
votes
10answers
5k 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.
23
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 ...
6
votes
3answers
481 views

Compute the limit $\lim_{n \to \infty} \frac{n!}{n^n}$ [duplicate]

I am trying to calculate the following limit without Stirling's relation. \begin{equation} \lim_{n \to \infty} \dfrac{n!}{n^n} \end{equation} I tried every trick I know but nothing works. Thank you ...
4
votes
1answer
900 views

Is $2^k = 2013…$ for some $k$? [duplicate]

I'm wondering if some power of $2$ can be written in base $10$ as $2013$ followed by other digits. Formally, does there exist $k,q,r \in \mathbb N$ such that $$2^k=2013 \cdot 10^q+r \,\,\,; \,\,\,r&...
11
votes
4answers
15k 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.
28
votes
6answers
30k 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: $e^\pi$ or ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Exponential of a function times derivative

Exponential of a derivative $e^{a\partial}$ is simply a shift operator, i.e. \begin{equation} e^{a\partial}f(x)=f(a+x) \end{equation} This can be easily verified from a Taylor series \begin{equation} ...

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