- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Squares, cubes and roots
- 2 Powers
- 3 Scientific notation
- 4 Open Mark quiz
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Squares, roots and powers
From paving your patio to measuring the ingredients for your latest recipe, squares,...
From paving your patio to measuring the ingredients for your latest recipe, squares, roots and powers really are part of everyday life. This unit reviews the basics of all three and also describes scientific notation, which is a convenient way of writing or displaying large numbers.
By the end of this unit you should be able to:
- evaluate the squares, cubes and other powers of positive and negative numbers with or without your calculator;
- estimate square roots and calculate them using your calculator;
- describe the power notation for expressing numbers;
- use your calculator to find powers of numbers;
- multiply and divide powers of the same number;
- understand and apply negative powers, the power 0 and the power 1 for any number;
- express any given number in scientific notation;
- convert a number from scientific notation to conventional decimal form;
- use scientific notation and the rules of powers to find estimates for calculations;
- read results displayed in scientific notation on your calculator.
Squares, roots and powers
This unit reminds you about powers of numbers, such as squares and square roots. In particular, powers of 10 are used to express large and small numbers in a convenient form, known as scientific notation, which is used by scientific calculators.
This unit is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Open mathematics (MU120) which is no longer taught by The Open University. If you want to study formally with us, you may wish to explore other courses we offer in.
This is an extract from an Open University course which is no longer available to new students. If you found this interesting you could explore more free Mathematics Education course units or view the range of currently available OU Mathematics Education courses.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 10th June 2011
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements section.
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