# Exponent

In mathematics, an **exponent** is a symbol or number placed above and after another symbol or number. For example, with *2 ^{2}*,

*x*, and

^{3}*x*the

^{n}*2*,

*3*, and

*n*are all exponents. In the case of

*2*, if you were to put this into a calculator (2^2), it would equal 4.

^{2}- See our scientific notation page on converting numbers to numbers with exponents.

## How to type an exponent

If you are writing a document, HTML web page, or other text and need to create an exponent, you can create an exponent using superscript. See our superscript page for further information about this setting.

## Exponents in programming languages

Because the caret "^" is used as a special character in programming languages to perform tasks, the appropriate symbol for "raised to the nth power" is two asterisks. For example, if you need to solve a problem such as "2^{10}" in a programming language, you would type "2**10" as is shown in the following example written in Perl.

use strict;

my $variable = 2**10;

print "$variable\n";

Running the above Perl script would return "1024" to the screen.

Floating-point notation, Googolplex, Programming terms, Scientific notation, Superscript