Decimals and other numbers

Gregory Ewing greg.ewing at canterbury.ac.nz
Sat Jan 10 04:05:52 CET 2015


Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> Arguably, *integer* 0**0 could be zero, on the basis that you can't take
> limits of integer-valued quantities, and zero times itself zero times
> surely has to be zero.

It's far from clear what *anything* multiplied by
itself zero times should be.

A better way of thinking about what x**n for integer
n means is this: Start with 1, and multiply it by
x n times. The result of this is clearly 1 when n
is 0, regardless of the value of x.

 > 5**4 = 5*5*5*5 = 625

No:

5**4 = 1*5*5*5*5
5**3 = 1*5*5*5
5**2 = 1*5*5
5**1 = 1*5
5**0 = 1

-- 
Greg



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