The exponent of a number says how many times to usethe number in a multiplication.You are watching: -1 to the second powerIn this example: 82 = 8 × 8 = 64 In words: 82 have the right to be called "8 to the 2nd power", "8 come the strength 2" or merely "8 squared"

### Example: 53 = 5 × 5 × 5 = 125

In words: 53 deserve to be called "5 come the 3rd power", "5 to the power 3" or simply "5 cubed"

In general:

 an tells you to usage a in a multiplication n times:

But those are positive exponents, what about something like:

8-2

That exponent is negative ... What does that mean?

## Negative Exponents

Negative? What can be the contrary of multiplying? Dividing!

That last example showed an easier method to handle an adverse exponents:

Calculate the confident exponent (an)

an adverse ExponentReciprocal that Positive ExponentAnswer
4-2 = 1 / 42 = 1/16 = 0.0625
10-3 = 1 / 103 = 1/1,000 = 0.001

## It All makes Sense

My favorite an approach is to begin with "1" and also then main point or division as countless times as the exponent says, then you will obtain the ideal answer, for example:

Example: strength of 5
.. Etc..
521 × 5 × 525
511 × 55
5011
5-11 ÷ 50.2
5-21 ÷ 5 ÷ 50.04
.. Etc..

See more: How Many Lines Of Symmetry In A Pentagon Have? What Type Of Symmetry Does A Pentagon Have

If you look at the table, you will check out that positive, zero or an adverse exponents are really part of the very same (fairly simple) pattern.