Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Combining
524,288. On the 64th day, the number would have been an astonishing
9,223,372,036,854,780,000, but the kingdom had run out of wheat at least a
couple of weeks earlier!
This “powerful” math is literally known as raising a number to a power. The
power, in this case, means how many times a number is to be multiplied
by itself. The notation is typically seen as a superscript (2 3 for example).
Another common way of noting the use of a power is with the carat symbol:
2^3. The verbiage for this is two to the third power.
In the chess example, 2 is raised to a higher power each day. Table 8-2 shows
the first ten days.
Table 8-2
The Power of Raising Numbers to a Power
Day
Power That 2
Is Raised To
Power
Notation
Basic Math Notation
Result
1
0
2 0
1
1
2
1
2 1
2
2
3
2
2 2
4
2 × 2
4
3
2 3
2 × 2 × 2
8
5
4
2 4
2 × 2 × 2 × 2
16
6
5
2 5
2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2
32
7
6
2 6
2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2
64
8
7
2 7
2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2
128
9
8
2 8
2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2
256
10
9
2 9
2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2 × 2
512
The concept is easy enough. Each time the power is incremented by 1, the
result doubles. Note that the first entry raises 2 to the 0 power. Isn’t that
strange? Well, not really. Any number raised to the 0 power = 1. Also note
that any number raised to the power of 1 equals the number itself.
Excel provides the POWER function, whose syntax follows:
=POWER(number, power)
Both the number and power arguments can be integer or real numbers, and
negative numbers are allowed.

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