# Exponentiation Operator in JavaScript

I always found the old way of writing an exponentiation expression a bit awkward. Luckily, the exponentiation operator was introduced. This syntax also makes it more similar to other languages (ie. Ruby, Python). Cool 👍

I always found the old way of writing an exponentiation expression a bit awkward. Luckily, the exponentiation operator was introduced. This syntax also makes it more similar to other languages (ie. Ruby, Python). Cool 👍

``````// Old way
const old = Math.pow(3, 7);
// 2187

// ✅ ES7 way
const es7 = 3 ** 7;
// 2187
``````

## Infix Notation

The use of `**` is called infix notation. It is characterized by the placement of operators between operands. Other popular infix notations include: `+` or `-`.

The reason this syntax was introduced is because:

Infix notation is more succinct than function notation, which makes it more preferable## Exponentiation in Other Languages

Also, you will notice this syntax is very similar to other languages:

``````// Python
a ** b

// Ruby
a ** b

// Perl
a ** b

// F#
a ** b
``````

I actually like that it's similar to other languages. Because it makes picking up JavaScript a lot of easier for those folks and they can be up and running very quickly.

## Assignment Operator

You must have seen arithmetic operator combined with the assignment operator. For example `+=`:

``````a += b

// Same as
// a = a + b
``````

Well, similarly, this can also be done with the exponentiation operator. `**=`:

``````a **= b

// Same as
// a = a ** b
``````

## Negative Base

There's one bit of a gotcha. When you have a negative base, you will have to wrap it around parenthesis.

``````// ❌ Syntax Error
const wrong = -3 ** 7;

// ✅
const correct = (-3) ** 7;
``````

However, this isn't an issue if you use the older function way.

``````const works = Math.pow(-3, 7);
``````

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