2 Ways to Calculate Exponents (Powers) in Python

Updated: June 18, 2023 By: Khue Post a comment

Exponents are mathematical operations that represent the number of times a number (the base) is multiplied by itself. This short and straight-to-the-point article shows you 2 different approaches to calculating exponents in Python. Without any further ado, let’s get our hands dirty with code.

Using the ** operator

Like many other programming languages, Python uses the ** operator for exponentiation. The example below shows you how to use the ** operator to calculate the result of 10 to the power of 3:

output = 10 ** 5



10 is the base, and 5 is the exponent.

Here’s another example with the exponent is a float:

result = 10 ** 3.25



Using the math.pow() function

Besides the ** operator, you can use the pow() function of the math module to get the job done.


import math 

result1 = math.pow(2, 4)
result2 = math.pow(2, 1.5)

print('result1 =', result1)
print('result2 =', result2)


result1 = 16.0
result2 = 2.8284271247461903

Note that the pow() function always returns a float. In the example above, you get 16.0 instead of 16.