Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from jeanette, a parent:

the african bush elephant is the largest animal and weighs 8 tons. write this amount in exponential form.

Hi Jeanette,

I am not exactly sure what is expected here.

8 = 23 so you could say that the African bush elephant weighs 23 tons.

A ton is 2000 pounds so 8 tons is 16000 pounds. I can write 16 in exponential form and 1000 in exponential form so maybe the expected response is that the African bush elephant weighs 24 × 103 pounds.



Could it be asking for 16000 = 24 × 103 = 23 x 2 x 23 × 53 = 27 x 53?

Stephen La Rocque

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