What Does ** Do in Python?

In Python, "**" represents the exponentiation operator, which returns the result of raising the first operand to the power of the second operand.

For example, the mathematical expression 2 ^ 5 (i.e. two raised to the power of five) can be expressed using the exponentiation operator in the following way:

print(2 ** 5) # 32

In this case, 2 is the base and 5 is the exponent.

This is the same as using the pow() function:

print(pow(2, 5)) # 32

Using either, the exponential operator (**) or the pow() function, is merely a shorter form of multiplying the base number as many times to itself as denoted by the exponent. For example, consider the following, which is equivalent to the examples above:

print(2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2) # 32

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