   SEARCH HOME Math Central Quandaries & Queries  Question from amarilis, a student: Why is the number 1 neither prime nor composite? Why any number raised to a zero exponent one? Why is the sum of the angles in a quadrilateral equal to 360 degrees? Why is the value of (-2)raised to exponent 2 different from the value of -2 raised to the exponent 2? Amarilis,

Why is the number 1 neither prime nor composite?

Go to the Quandaries and Queries page and type prime composite into the Quick Search window.

Why any number raised to a zero exponent one?

Go to the Quandaries and Queries page and type zero exponent into the Quick Search window.

Why is the sum of the angles in a quadrilateral equal to 360 degrees?

Why is the value of (-2)raised to exponent 2 different from the value of -2 raised to the exponent 2?

(-2)2 = (-2) × (-2) = 4 but BEDMAS says that for -22 you need to apply the exponent before the negation so -22 = - (2 × 2) = - 4.

Penny     Math Central is supported by the University of Regina and The Pacific Institute for the Mathematical Sciences.