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Exponent example 1

Sal explains the difference between 5 × 3 and 5 to the third power. Created by Sal Khan.

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Video transcript

Find the value of 5 to the third power. Let me rewrite that. We have 5 to the third power. Now, it's important to remember, this does not mean 5 times 3. This means 5 times itself three times, so this is equal to 5 times 5 times 5. 5 times 3, just as a bit of a refresher so you realize the difference, 5 times 3-- let me write it over here. 5 times 3 is equal to 5 plus 5 plus 5. So when you multiply by 3, you're adding the number to itself three times. When you take it to the third power, you're multiplying the number by itself three times. So 5 times 3, you've seen that before, that's 15. But 5 to the third power, 5 times itself three times, is equal to-- well, 5 times 5 is 25, and then 25 times 5 is 125, so this is equal to 125. And we're done!