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How to do powers in Python

Understanding the Concept of Powers

When you were in school, you probably came across the concept of powers in math. It's when you multiply a number by itself a certain number of times. For example, 2 raised to the power of 3 (2^3) is 8 because 2 multiplied by itself 3 times equals 8 (2 * 2 * 2 = 8).

In Python, a high-level programming language used in web development, data analysis, artificial intelligence, and many other tech fields, the concept of powers is just as straightforward.

Using the Power Operator

Python uses two asterisks (**) to represent the power operator. For instance, if you want to raise 2 to the power of 3 in Python, you can do so by typing 2**3 in your code. Here is an example:


When you run this code, it will output 8 because, as we said earlier, 2 multiplied by itself 3 times equals 8.

Powers with Variables

You can also use variables when working with powers in Python. For instance, consider the following code:

base = 2
exponent = 3
result = base ** exponent


In this example, base is the number to be multiplied, and exponent is the number of times the base should be multiplied by itself. The result of the operation is stored in the variable result, which is then printed out. The output will be 8, same as our previous example.

Negative Exponents

Python also supports the use of negative exponents. In mathematics, a negative exponent means that the base is divided by itself the number of times indicated by the exponent. For example, 2 raised to the power of negative 2 (2^-2) equals 0.25 because 1 divided by (2 * 2) equals 0.25.

Here's how you can do this in Python:


Running this code will output 0.25.

Fractional Exponents

Fractional exponents, also known as roots, can also be used in Python. For example, 2 raised to the power of 0.5 equals 1.41421356 because the square root of 2 is approximately 1.41421356.

You can calculate this in Python like so:


This code will output 1.4142135623730951, which is the square root of 2 up to 16 decimal places.

Powers of Powers

Python also allows you to raise a power to another power. This might sound confusing at first, but it's actually quite simple. For instance, if you want to calculate 2 raised to the power of 3 and then raise the result to the power of 2 (i.e. (2^3)^2), you can do so with the following code:


This code will output 64 because 2 raised to the power of 3 equals 8, and 8 raised to the power of 2 equals 64.

The Power of Python

As you can see, Python provides a powerful yet straightforward way to work with powers in your code. Its ability to handle different types of exponents, including integers, negatives, fractions, and even other powers, makes it an extremely flexible tool for mathematical computations.

Remember, the key to mastering powers in Python, like many other concepts in programming, is practice. Don't be afraid to experiment with different numbers and exponents, and see what results you get. The more you play with it, the more intuitive it will become.


Imagine you're a superhero, and your superpower is multiplication. Every time you leap (or multiply), you can cover vast distances (or large numbers). But what if you could leap while mid-air? That's like the concept of powers. It's like a superpower for your superpower, allowing you to reach unimaginable heights (or astronomical numbers). So, fire up your Python editor, don your cape and let your superpower soar to the power of Python! Happy coding, superheroes!