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Math Help - How do you evaluate an expression with "e" as the base?

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    How do you evaluate an expression with "e" as the base?

    so something like e^3.12 or e^1/5

    I know it has something to do with logarithms but I am not sure how to go about it. Please help, thanks.
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    Re: How do you evaluate an expression with "e" as the base?

    Quote Originally Posted by vk985 View Post
    so something like e^3.12 or e^1/5

    I know it has something to do with logarithms but I am not sure how to go about it. Please help, thanks.
    A calculator would solve that quickly for you since it's a constant in the exponent.

    If it were a variable we'd use the natural log: y = e^x \Leftrightarrow \ln(y)  = x

    If we wanted the exact answer we'd leave it like that
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    Re: How do you evaluate an expression with "e" as the base?

    To evaluate e^{3.2}, using the calculator that comes with Windows, enter "3.2", then click on the "inv" button. The "ln" button changes to "e^x". Pressing that gives "24.532530197109348643560263727964".

    To evaluate e^{1/5}, much the same. Enter "1", "/", "5", "=" and you will see "0.2". Now, click on "inv" and then "e^x".
    The result is "1.2214027581601698339210719946397".

    Some calculators have both " e^x" and " ln(x)" keys. The point is, of course, that ln(x) and e^x are inverse functions: e^{ln(x)}= ln(e^x}= x.

    In the years "BC" (before calulators) people would look up logarithms and exponentials in tables. Books would have tables of, typically, logarithms, and to find the exponential you would use the logarithm table "in reverse".

    There is no simple way to "calculate" a logarithm or exponential although you could use the Taylor's series to approximate: e^x= 1+ x+ \frac{1}{2}x^2+ \frac{1}{6}x^3+ \cdot\cdot\cdot+ \frac{1}{n!}x^n+ \cdot\cdot\cdot. An approximation because that is an infinite series and you can only calculate a finite number of terms. For example, with x= 3.2, the first four terms give 1+ 3.2+ \frac{1}{2}(3.2)^2+ \frac{1}{6}(3.2)^3= 1+ 3.2+  5.12+ 5.46+ 4.37+ 2.79= 21.94, not yet close to 24.....
    Last edited by HallsofIvy; November 29th 2011 at 09:38 AM.
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