# Exponentiation Operator **

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);
```