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Laws of exponents


Laws of exponents help us to simplify terms containing exponents.

Recall that 2 × 2 × 2 = 23

If a stands for any number, a × a × a × a = a4

We call 2 the base and 3 the exponent.

Let us now try to perform the following multiplication:

23 × 22

23 × 22 = (2 × 2 × 2)× (2 × 2) = 2 × 2 × 2× 2 × 2 = 25

Notice that we can get the same answer by adding the exponents

2 + 3 = 5

In the same way,

43 × 44 = (4 × 4 × 4)×(4× 4 × 4 × 4)= 4 7

In general, add exponents to multiply numbers with the same base

an × am = an + m



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