By: Katelyn Mai


An exponent of a number tells us how many times you need to multiply the number by itself, they are basically a shorthand for repeated multiplication. A guy named Nicolas Chuquet created scientific notation. Nicolas Chuquet was considered the main French mathematician of the fifteen century. He invented the algebraic notation and rules for calculating the square and cubic root.

Exponent Rules

  • Product of Powers - Add the exponents when two terms have the same base
  • Quotient of Powers - When you divide two powers with the same base, you subtract the exponents.
  • Power of a Product - Distribute the exponent onto each factor.
  • Power of a Quotient - Find the power of the numerator and the power of the denominator.
  • Power of a Power - Multiply the exponents of like terms.
  • Negative Exponents - Any nonzero number raised to a negative power is the reciprocal of the number.
  • Zero Exponent - Any number to the power of 0 is 1.

Exponents in Real Life

Exponents can be used in many jobs and careers that include Computer Game Programming, Science, Engineering, Economics, Accounting, Finance, and many other things.


Computer games use programs to calculate things inside the game such as movement and interaction. The programs use lots of algebraic formulas and many of the formulas require multiplying terms with exponents. Exponents can be used to describe a computer’s memory. For example a megabyte means 10^6 or one million, a gigabyte means 10^9, and a terabyte means 10^12 as an expression of an exponent. Computer programmers have to understand exponents in order to find the best way to write a computer program with the least specification a computer needs in order to work.


In construction, you use exponents to calculate area and volume. Builders calculate area in square feet because it lets them measure things for length and width. By using exponents, it allows other builders to calculate the volume of certain projects and estimate how much material they will need. Geoscientists use exponents to measure the strength/intensity of earthquakes. Exponents are also used to measure large distances. Engineers use formulas to calculate potential and kinetic energy and to measure pressure, heat and airflow.


Most careers that are related to science requires you to have a strong understanding in exponents. For example, doctors might use exponents to see how fast a disease can spread. Researchers might use exponents to help them execute calculations and explain the data. Scientists can also measure the growth of bacteria that doubles in size over time.


Exponents pay a major role in in the finance industry. Bankers, investors and accountants use exponents to calculate interest earned on investments and depreciation of assets. They plug the numbers into equations to find out the interest rate.


In conclusion, exponents make our lives easier. Without exponents, we would not be able to complete some of these tasks in a short time period. When students first learn about exponents, they will think that it is complicated because you have to learn all the rules, but they can end up very useful in the real world. Most of the time, exponents are used to make tasks a lot easier. Altogether, knowing and understanding exponents can be a very important topic to learn.

Work Cited

"Biography of Nicolás Chuquet (ca. 1450-ca. 1500)." Biography of Nicolás Chuquet (ca. 1450-ca. 1500). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2016. <http://thebiography.us/en/chuquet-nicolas>.

"Exponents in Real Life." Exponents in Real Life. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2016. <http://www.slideshare.net/MrMacD/exponents-in-real-life>.

"Exponents in the Real World." Passys World of Mathematics. N.p., 17 May 2013. Web. 26 May 2016. <http://passyworldofmathematics.com/exponents-in-the-real-world/>.

"Exponents: Basic Rules." Exponents: Basic Rules. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 May 2016. <http://www.purplemath.com/modules/exponent.htm>.

Ori, Jack. "How Are Exponents Used in Everyday Life?" EHow. Demand Media, n.d. Web. 26 May 2016. <http://www.ehow.com/about_6382637_exponents-used-everyday-life_.html>.