4.1 3 Further Investigation of Exponents on the Calculator

Calculator symbol The calculator can be accessed in the left-hand side bar under Toolkit.

Activity symbol Activity: Working with Exponents on the Calculator

Now you know how to use the calculator to find exponents of numbers, so it’s time for some practice. Read each of the following out loud to make sure that you understand what it means. Then, use the calculator to work out the answer.

(a) 13 squared

Hint symbol

Comment

(a) This is 13 squared, or 13 times itself. Try using the key.

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Answer

(a)The key sequence is Key sequence showing 13 x squared equals and the answer is 169.

Calculator screen showing 13 squared = 169

If you used the Xy symbol key or the ^ key on your keyboard, followed by the number 2, that’s fine.

(b) four super six

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Comment

(b) This is 4 raised to the power 6, or 4 multiplied by itself 6 times. Which key do you think you’ll need this time?

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Answer

(b) four super six equals 4096

(c) open 0.9 close super 10

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Comment

(c) Exponents work with decimal numbers, too. This is 0.9 to the power 10, or 0.9 multiplied by itself 10 times.

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Answer

(c)

Notice that the question included parentheses around 0.9. This is simply to make it easier to read and understand. You don’t need to include parentheses in your calculation, though it is fine if you want to do so. You’ll get the same answer—try it!

Did you expect (0.9)10  to give you an answer that was smaller than the base number (0.9)?  This can seem counterintuitive but think about what the operation means (0.9)10 is 0.9 of 0.9 of 0.9 and so on thus the answer will be smaller not larger than the base number.

Here’s what you have already learnt:

  • seven super four is a short way of writing seven multiplication seven multiplication seven multiplication seven, or 7 raised to the power 4.
  • To enter any exponent, use the key, or the ^ symbol on your keyboard.
  • You can use the key as a quicker way to find the square of a number.

4.1.2 Calculator Exploration: Exponents

4.2 Order of Operations