There are several simple rules when it comes to exponents. These include the following:
- The equation x1 = x (or a number raised to the 1 power is the number itself; this is also called the “rules of 1”).
- The equation x0 = 1 (unless x = 0, then this is referred to as undefined; this is also called the “zero rule”).
- A number without an exponent has an exponent of 1, as in 20 = 201.
- A negative exponent means to divide by that number of factors instead of multiplying. For example, 3-3 is equal to 1/(33). But there is a restriction to this rule: x-n = 1/xn only when x is not zero; if x is 0, then xn is undefined.