Exponentiation is a mathematical operation, written as bn, involving two numbers, the base b and the exponent n. The exponent is usually shown as a superscript to the right of the base, Some common exponents have their own names, the exponent 2 is called the square of b or b squared, the exponent 3 is called the cube of b or b cubed. The exponent −1 of b, or 1 / b, is called the reciprocal of b, when n is a positive integer and b is not zero, b−n is naturally defined as 1/bn, preserving the property bn × bm = bn + m. The definition of exponentiation can be extended to any real or complex exponent. Exponentiation by integer exponents can also be defined for a variety of algebraic structures. The term power was used by the Greek mathematician Euclid for the square of a line, archimedes discovered and proved the law of exponents, 10a 10b = 10a+b, necessary to manipulate powers of 10. In the late 16th century, Jost Bürgi used Roman numerals for exponents, early in the 17th century, the first form of our modern exponential notation was introduced by Rene Descartes in his text titled La Géométrie, there, the notation is introduced in Book I. Nicolas Chuquet used a form of notation in the 15th century. The word exponent was coined in 1544 by Michael Stifel, samuel Jeake introduced the term indices in 1696. In the 16th century Robert Recorde used the square, cube, zenzizenzic, sursolid, zenzicube, second sursolid. Biquadrate has been used to refer to the power as well. Some mathematicians used exponents only for greater than two, preferring to represent squares as repeated multiplication. Thus they would write polynomials, for example, as ax + bxx + cx3 + d, another historical synonym, involution, is now rare and should not be confused with its more common meaning. In 1748 Leonhard Euler wrote consider exponentials or powers in which the exponent itself is a variable and it is clear that quantities of this kind are not algebraic functions, since in those the exponents must be constant. With this introduction of transcendental functions, Euler laid the foundation for the introduction of natural logarithm as the inverse function for y = ex. The expression b2 = b ⋅ b is called the square of b because the area of a square with side-length b is b2, the expression b3 = b ⋅ b ⋅ b is called the cube of b because the volume of a cube with side-length b is b3. The exponent indicates how many copies of the base are multiplied together, for example,35 =3 ⋅3 ⋅3 ⋅3 ⋅3 =243. The base 3 appears 5 times in the multiplication, because the exponent is 5
Image: Potenssi 1 3 5
Image: Potenssi 2 4 6
From top to bottom: x1/8, x1/4, x1/2, x1, x2, x4, x8.