# 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 (hypertext markup language) 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, to solve a problem such as "2^{10}" in a programming language, 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.

Arithmetic, E, Floating-point notation, Googolplex, Log, Power, Programming terms, Scientific notation, Superscript