Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Jamie, a student:

Find x:

Hi Jamie,

If you are to solve for a variable that is part of an exponent one method you can try is to use logarithms. Thus for

6x = y

take the log of both sides to get

log(6x) = log(y).

One of the properties of logs is that log(ab) = b log(a) and hence log(6x) = x log(6) and thus your equation can be written

x log(6) = log(y)

and thus

x = log(y)/log(6).


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