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What Does The ^ Symbol Mean?

  1. Jul 23, 2008 #1

    Acceleration= distance / time ^ 2
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2008 #2


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    In that context it presumably means "to the power of".
  4. Jul 24, 2008 #3
    Thanks. :smile:
  5. Jul 24, 2008 #4


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    It is NOT a standard mathematics (or physics) symbol but is used on the internet when you aren't able to write superscripts.
  6. Nov 5, 2009 #5

    Math Is Hard

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    It's also used on some calculators, and some spreadsheet programs like Microsoft Excel.
  7. Nov 5, 2009 #6

    D H

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    And in TeX and in Matlab and in Mathematica and ...

    However, in some computer languages it means exclusive or.
  8. Nov 5, 2009 #7
    It's well enough institutionalized you could call it standard notation. No, Newton and Euler wouldn't know what it meant, but anyone who's ever used a hand calculator would.
  9. Nov 5, 2009 #8


    Staff: Mentor

    The ^ notation for exponentiation came out of BASIC. FORTRAN uses ** for the same purpose, but most other high-level programming languages that I know of don't have a corresponding operator.
  10. Nov 5, 2009 #9
    Python uses ** for exponentiation.
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