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How to Show 10 to the 2nd Power: Steps & Tutorial

Instructor: Sharon Linde
We have several ways to show 10 raised to the 2nd power. The appropriate way depends in which setting you are writing or typing. This lesson goes over three ways to show 10 raised to the 2nd power.

Setting Up the Problem

Sidney thinks math terms tend to sound like something out of a comic strip. Take exponents, for example, like writing 10 to the 2nd power. What does this mean?

Sidney's teacher just introduced a unit on exponents, a more efficient way of writing numbers that are multiplied by themselves. For one of her homework problems, she is supposed to show 10 raised to the 2nd power. She thinks this is rather a simple question and decides to investigate further.

It turns out Sidney can use at least three ways to show the concept of 10 raised to the 2nd power, and we're going to take a look at all of them.

The first way to express 10 to the second power is to write two 10s with a multiplication sign in between, like this:

10 x 10.

This indicates two factors (ie - second power) of 10 multiplied by itself.

The second way to express 10 raised to the second power is to use exponents. The base number shows which number is to be multiplied, and the exponent shows how many times the base is multiplied by itself. In an exponential expression the base is written in the standard writing size, and the exponent is written above and to the right of that, in a smaller size. This sounds complicated, but the process is very quick and takes hardly any time at all. The result looks something like this:

10 2

The third and final way to show 10 raised to the 2nd power is to use the caret symbol, ^, to indicate that the following number is an exponent. 10 raised to the second power becomes:

10^2

This convention is only used when a keyboard is being used to indicate the math, and where superscripts are not available or are difficult to use. Superscripts are the text versions of exponents: smaller text written above the line and to the right of the normal text. Typical areas where you might see people employ the caret convention would be chat rooms, discussion boards or spreadsheet programs.

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