Python can be used just like a pocket calculator. In addition to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, you can calculate exponents and logarithms with Python. Exponent and logarithm functions are imported from the math module which is part of the Python Standard Library. This means all the functions in the math module are available in any Python installation.

In this short post, you'll learn how to calculate exponents and logarithms in Python.

Exponent and Logarithm Functions

The following exponent and logarithm functions can be imported from Python's math module:

  • log
  • log10
  • exp
  • e
  • pow(x,y)
  • sqrt
Note that Python's log function calculates the natural log of a number. Python's log10 function calculates the base-10 log of a number. Python doesn't have an ln function, use log for natural logarithms.

Let's try a couple of examples. In the examples below, the >>> prompt is not meant to be typed. >>> is used to denote the Python REPL or Python prompt. Alternatively, you can enter these examples into a Jupyter notebook code cell. Note how the first line of code imports logarithm and power functions from Python's math module.

>>> from math import log, log10, exp, e, pow, sqrt
>>> log(3.0*e**3.4)         # note: natural log

Now let's try a problem: A right triangle has side lengths 3 and 4. What is the length of the hypotenuse?

>>> sqrt(3**2 + 4**2)

The power function pow() works like the ** operator. pow() raises a number to a power.

>>> 5**2

>>> pow(5,2)


The following exponent and logarithm functions are part of Python's math module:

Math function Name Description Example Result
math.e Euler's number mathematical constant $e$ math.e 2.718
math.exp() exponent $e$ raised to a power math.exp(2.2) 9.025
math.log() natural logarithm log base $e$ math.log(3.1) 400
math.log10() base 10 logarithm log base 10 math.log10(100) 2.0
math.pow() power raises a number to a power math.pow(2,3) 8.0
math.sqrt() square root square root of a number math.sqrt(16) 4.0


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