Bases in Powers (Mathematics Glossary)
What Is a Base in a Power?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a base as "a number (such as 5 in 56.44 or 57) that is raised to a power."
Understanding Bases in Powers
A power is the product of multiplying a number by itself. A power consists of a base and an exponent.
For example, 32 is a power. 3 is the base and 2 is the exponent.
This means that 3 (the base) is multiplied by itself 2 (the exponent) times.
Real Examples of Bases in Powers
Some real examples of bases in powers are given below.
The power below has a base of 4:
The power below has a base of 2:
The base can also be a letter. The power below has a base of a:
Powers of 10
A power of 10 has a base of 10 and an exponent:
102 = 10 × 10 = 100
103 = 10 × 10 × 10 = 1000
103 = 10 × 10 × 10 × 10 = 10000
Notice that the exponent tells you how many 0s there are after the 1.
Powers of 10 are useful for scientific notation.