If you're doing maths, however, an exponent is something quite different. In fact it's something so different that I wish that the mathematicians used a different word for it.
To a mathematician, an exponent is the small-font number that sits up in the air to the right of a larger-font number. It's an instruction to multiply the big-font number by itself that many times.
means forty-three multiplied by itself three times: 43 x 43 x 43. (It equals 79,507. Which is a lot, if it's badgers.)
On the same principle, this means that
will just mean forty three. Because it's forty three just once, and not multiplied at all.
means one. (Sorry, I do not really understand this, but it is.)
however, means a bit over six and a half. Yes, that is smaller than forty-three: it's because a-bit-over-six-and-a-half multiplied by itself two times gives you forty three.
(Yes, sometimes this idea is called a square root.)
As this is the case, I do wish that scientists would stop using the word exponential to mean getting bigger quickly.
I mean, that's not ordinary speech, and nor is it science. Use it carefully!
Word To Use Carefully Today: exponential. The Latin word expōnere means to set out or expound.