Saturday, July 27, 2013

Integers, Exponents, Etc.

One of the random things we discussed in an informal meeting we had at school this week is the confusion of some high school students about integers and exponents.

In mathematics, any integer can be a base or an exponent. In science, in a given notation, the exponent is called an integer while the base is referred to as a number. But hey, science book, which I forgot to ask what title, isn't the base also an integer and exponent also a number?

I am no genius at numbers and abstracts, but in my understanding, all integers can be exponents but not all exponents can be integers. It is because there are integers that are only bases and so forth. It is like saying that all fishes can swim but not all that swim are fishes.

Scientific notation clear as the crystal water. Reference: www.the chembook.com.

I must admit though that I am more convinced with the mathematics concept on integers and exponents but I am not saying the science concept is wrong because there must also be some explanations behind the use of such terms. 

So while I am the only human in the world at this moment thinking about this seemingly trivial thing, I can only safely conjecture that both math world and science world have their own jargon. In order to avoid confusion, I bear this piece of advise in mind: Use their concepts in their respective fields.

Just two cents of an average person who can't move on. 

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