The exponent of a number refers to the power to which that number should be raised. In this article, I'll show you how to find exponents using two ways: the power function and a loop.

Exponents are usually written like this: Baseexponent

Take an example like 103. This means, "10, raised to the power of 3". The result of this is evaluated as 10 * 10 * 10 (10 multiplied by itself 3 times), which is 1000.

There are different ways you can evaluate the exponent of a number (the number is referred to as the base). One way is using the ** operator. With this operator, you have the number, followed by the operator, and then the exponent like this 10 ** 3 which is 103

But in this post, I'll show you two other ways, which are the pow function and using a loop.

Exponents with the pow function

pow is an in-built function in Python for evaluating a number raised to an exponent. The syntax for this function is:

pow(base, exponent, modulo)

This function accepts three arguments:

  • base: the number which will be raised
  • exponent: the power to which the number will be raised
  • modulo: an optional number that evaluates the remainder when the raised number is divided by it

The last argument is optional, but according to the python documentation on pow, this argument computes more efficiently than pow(base, exponent) % number.

Let's see some examples:

result1 = pow(100, 3)
print(result1) # 1000000

result2 = pow(5, 4)
print(result2) # 625

result3 = pow(3, 2, 5)
print(result3) # 4

In the last example, we have pow(3, 2, 5). What happens here is that 3 is first raised to the power of 2, which is 9. Then 9 is divided by 5, and the remainder, which is returned, is 4.

Note that there's also a Math.pow function in Python. The difference between this and pow(), is that pow() will only return a float number when the number is a float. It will return an integer if the number is whole. But math.pow() always returns a float number.

Exponents with a loop

You can use any kind of loop to achieve this, but for this post, I'll use a while loop.

The syntax for a while loop is:

while condition:
  # code to execute

For exponents, I can put this loop in a function like this:

def loopExp(number, exp):
  result = number
  counter = 1
  while counter < exp:
    result *= number
    counter += 1
  return result

Here, we defined a loopExp function that takes two inputs: number and exp which stands for exponent.

In the function, we initialize the result and counter variables with the value of number and 1 respectively. Then we have the while loop which runs as long as the counter variable is less than the exp input.

In each loop, we update the result variable by multiplying the previous value of the result with the number input. We also increment the counter variable by 1. Then we return the result variable.

Let's see this function in use:

result1 = loopExp(100, 3)
print(result1) # 1000000

result2 = loopExp(5, 4)
print(result2) # 625

result3 = loopExp(3, 2)
print(result3) # 9

As you can see in the results, we have the exponents calculated using the loop in the loopExp function.

Wrapping up

In this article, I've shown you how to evaluate exponents in different ways. I used examples to show you the ** operator, the pow and Math.pow functions, and also using a loop.

Kindly share this if you find it helpful :)