LESSON: Operations with Exponential Numbers

Adding and Subtracting with Scientific Notation

Multiplying and Dividing with Scientific Notation

Example Problem


Operations with Exponential Numbers

In order to add or subtract exponential numbers, the exponents must be the same.  If the exponents are not the same, one of the numbers must be changed so that the exponents are the same.  Once the exponents are the same, the numbers are added and the same exponents are carried.

Example:  Add 5.0 × 105 and 4.0 × 104.

Solution:  In order to add these numbers, we can change 4.0 × 104 to 0.40 × 105 and then add 0.40 × 105 to 5.0 × 105 which yields 5.4 × 105.

When you multiply exponential numbers, the numbers multiply and the exponents add.

Example: Multiply 5.0 × 105 and 4.0 × 104.


Example: Multiply 6.0 × 103 and 2.0 × 10-5.


When you divide exponential numbers, the numbers are divided and the exponent of the divisor is subtracted from the exponent of the dividend.

Example: Divide 6.0 × 103 by 2.0 × 10-5.


After you have completed this part of the lesson, you can check the associated box on the main course page to mark it as complete

Last modified: Wednesday, 27 April 2016, 11:56 AM