# What is 42 to the 17th Power?

So you want to know what 42 to the 17th power is do you? In this article we'll explain exactly how to perform the mathematical operation called "the exponentiation of 42 to the power of 17". That might sound fancy, but we'll explain this with no jargon! Let's do it.

## What is an Exponentiation?

Let's get our terms nailed down first and then we can see how to work out what 42 to the 17th power is.

When we talk about exponentiation all we really mean is that we are multiplying a number which we call the *base* (in this case 42) by itself a certain number of times. The *exponent* is the number of times to multiply 42 by itself, which in this case is 17 times.

## 42 to the Power of 17

There are a number of ways this can be expressed and the most common ways you'll see 42 to the 17th shown are:

- 42
^{17} - 42^17

So basically, you'll either see the exponent using superscript (to make it smaller and slightly above the base number) or you'll use the caret symbol (^) to signify the exponent. The caret is useful in situations where you might not want or need to use superscript.

So we mentioned that exponentation means multiplying the base number by itself for the exponent number of times. Let's look at that a little more visually:

42 to the 17th Power = 42 x ... x 42 (17 times)

## So What is the Answer?

Now that we've explained the theory behind this, let's crunch the numbers and figure out what 42 to the 17th power is:

42 to the power of 17 = 42^{17} = 3,937,657,486,715,347,379,775,602,688

Why do we use exponentiations like 42^{17} anyway? Well, it makes it much easier for us to write multiplications and conduct mathematical operations with both large and small numbers when you are working with numbers with a lot of trailing zeroes or a lot of decimal places.

Hopefully this article has helped you to understand how and why we use exponentiation and given you the answer you were originally looking for. Now that you know what 42 to the 17th power is you can continue on your merry way.

Feel free to share this article with a friend if you think it will help them, or continue on down to find some more examples.

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