July 31st, 2007, 09:36 PM  #1 
Senior Member Joined: Apr 2007 Posts: 2,140 Thanks: 0  exponents
if a^b^c^d, then do i calculate c^d part first, or the a^b part first?

July 31st, 2007, 10:03 PM  #2  
Senior Member Joined: Dec 2006 Posts: 1,111 Thanks: 0  Quote:
a^(b^(c^d)) is what this really means.  
August 1st, 2007, 04:54 AM  #3 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 937 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms 
It's definitional. In general, parentheses should be used unless something tells you the order to use. Binding to the right is the only really sensible way, though, so I would suggest a^(b^(c^d)): the other way reduces to a tower of fixed hight regardless of the number of exponents.


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